Texas State at Air Force
When and Where: Saturday, Nov. 9, Clune Arena, Colorado Springs, Colo., 4 p.m. EST.
Looking to regroup after a surprising home loss to start the season, Air Force attempts to get back on track Saturday when it hosts Texas State.
Bobcats roll in near-flawless season-opening routCoach Danny Kaspar is seeking his 100th win at Texas State after the Bobcats began their season with a 103-45 demolition of Division III Texas Lutheran on Tuesday night. Nijal Pearson scored 19 points and Eric Terry added 18 and nine rebounds as Texas State hit its first 11 shots and connected on 58.3 percent of its attempts overall.
Kaspar also welcomed the return of guard Marlin Davis, who contributed seven points, two assists, and two steals in 17 minutes off the bench after missing all of last season with a torn ACL suffered in January 2018.
“My confidence, I really don't worry about my knee at all. I'm 100 percent. I mean, I've been practicing everyday — even last year, I was practicing every day with the team. So it really doesn't give me any trouble,” Davis told the San Marcos Record. “Just getting my feel back, getting the game day jitters out the way, it was big for me. I've been waiting for a long time, did a lot of rehab. I just couldn't wait to get it all over with.”
Five players finished in double figures as Kaspar went to his bench early and often. No one played more than 21 minutes, and Alonzo Sule had 12 of Texas State's 46 bench points while hitting all four of his shots.
Pearson gave Air Force all sorts of issues last season, scoring 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting to power Texas State to a 67-57 home win to avenge a 65-57 defeat in Colorado Springs in 2017-18.
Falcons try to clean up defensive breakdowns after lossDave Pilipovich would also have been going for his 100th victory -- all at Air Force -- had the Falcons won their season opener Tuesday night versus Idaho State, but that did not come to pass following an 89-79 defeat.
Perimeter struggles on both ends of the court played a key role in the loss. Air Force shot a horrid 1 for 11 from 3-point range, which negated an overall shooting effort of 51.9 percent, and allowed Idaho State to drill 12 of 29 from deep as Tarik Cool lived up to his name with 41 points.
Just how we drew it up 😏 pic.twitter.com/M0f6g2txjr— Air Force Men's Basketball (@AF_MBB) November 8, 2019
“We get at least 500 shots up before practice,” Chris Joyce told the Colorado Springs Gazette about his team's perimeter woes. “It’s hard to explain. It might be first-game jitters. We’re experienced, but there’s always going to be first-game jitters.”
Joyce finished with 14 points and seven rebounds but missed all four of his long-range shots. A.J. Walker paced the Falcons with 17 points while Ryan Swan (14) and Lavelle Scottie (13) also were in double figures.
Scottie and Swan had 11 points apiece in last year's loss at Texas State, with Swan going 3 of 8 from 3-point range. The Falcons outrebounded the Bobcats 35-28 but also committed 17 turnovers that led to 25 points for Texas State.
Texas State is:
- 5-1 ATS in its last six games after scoring 90 or more points in its previous game.
- 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games vs. teams with a sub-.500 home record.
Air Force is:
- 1-3-1 ATS in its last five games as a home favorite.
- 1-4-1 ATS in its last six Saturday games.