College Basketball action on Saturday afternoon and we will see a pair of teams from the Mountain West Conference Square off as the Utah State Aggies pay a visit to Clune Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado to Rumble with the Air Force Falcons. The Aggies are off a 93-87 home loss to Nevada to fall to 7-8 in league play, while the Falcons are off a 67-56 home loss to San Diego State, which drops them to 4-10 within the MWC. Utah State won the first meeting this year by a score of 71-49.
Aggies Can’t Slow Down High-Scoring Wolf Pack
The Utah State Aggies come into this game struggling a bit as they have lost three of their last four games to fall to 7-8 in league play and they are hoping to get back to .500 within the MWC with a solid road win over a bad Air Force team. The Aggies have been a bit below average on defense overall, but they have really struggled at that end of the court of late as they have allowed 79.8 ppg over their last five games. They have a chance to improve on that number in this one as the Falcons are a bad offensive team and the Aggies did hold them to just 49 points in the first meeting this year. They come in off a 93-87 home loss to Nevada and it was clear that the defense let them down in this one. The Aggies allowed the Wolf Pack to hang 93 points on them and they did so on 59.3% shooting from the field overall, including 52.4% shooting from long range. Those are just horrible numbers. The offense had a good game overall as they hit 46.8% of their shots from the field overall and they also knocked down 19 of their 24 free throw attempts, but they struggled from long range as they hit just 30.3% of their shots from beyond the arc. Leading their attack in the game was Koby McEwan (15.6 ppg), who had 32 points, while Sam Merrill (16.0 ppg) had 16, Quinn Taylor (7.1 ppg) has 11 and DeAngelo Isby (9.0 ppg) had 10. The Aggies have averaged 73.1 ppg and have allowed 76.1 ppg in league play so far.
The Aggies have been below average on offense so far as they come into this game ranked 192nd in the nation in scoring, putting up 73.6 ppg, while also ranking 73rd in shooting (46.8%), 82nd in 3-point shooting (37.2%) and 245th in free throw shooting (69.5%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been below average as well as they have allowed 72.8 ppg, which is 184th in the nation, while also ranking 221st in defensive FG% (44.6%) and 238th in 3-point defense (35.9%).
Falcons Couldn’t Score On Tough Aztec Defense
This has been a very tough year for the Air Force Falcons, especially within the Mountain West Conference where they have gone just 4-10 so far. They come in off a 67-56 home loss to the San Diego State Aztecs and they have now averaged 54 ppg in their last two games, after putting up 81.8 ppg in their previous four games. The offense really had an issue getting going in their loss to the Aztecs as they were able to muster just the 56 points on just 39.6% shooting from the field overall. They did 13 threes in the game, but the real killer was the fact that they had just one point from the free throw line. The Aztecs don’t foul a ton and the Falcons were awarded just two total free throws in the entire game. The Falcons are a team that lives from beyond the arc are they are ranked 328th in the nation in two-point attempts on the year while ranking 147th in three-point attempts. Leading their attack in the game was Ryan Swan (9.6 ppg), who had 11, while CJ Siples (3.2 ppg) had 10 to round out their double-digit scorers in the game. They hope for a better offensive showing against a struggling defense. The Falcons allowed the Aztecs to hit just 30.0% of their shots from long range, but they also allowed them to hit 48.1% of their shots from the field overall. The Falcons have averaged 67.4 ppg and have allowed 77.0 ppg within the MWC this year.
Air Force has been poor on offense so far as they enter this contest ranked 297th in the nation in scoring, putting up just 68.2 ppg, while also ranking 309th in shooting (41.9%), 296th in 3-point shooting (32.6%) and 64th in free throw shooting (74.7%). At the defensive end of the court, they have been below average so far as they enter this contest ranked 197th in the nation in points allowed, giving up 73.1 ppg, while also ranking 312th in defensive FG% (47.5%) and 348th in 3-point defense (40.6%).
Utah State is:
- 6-1 ATS their last seven games in this series
- 26-6 ATS in their last 32 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
Air Force is:
- The dog is 0-5 ATS the last five games in this series
The Air Force Falcons have had a rough season within the MWC and It doesn’t look like it will get much better in this one. The Aggies are just 7-8 in league play, but that is still much better than the 4-10 the Falcons are. The problem for Air Force is their offense and they while the Aggies have struggled some on defense this year, they did allow just 49 points to the Falcons in the first meeting. The Falcons have averaged just 67.4 ppg in league play, while the Aggies have put up 73.1 ppg against their MWC brethren. They have a clear advantage on offense while owning a slight advantage on defense. Utah State is the better team and they are playing to get back to .500 in the league. That should motivate them enough to win this one by around 10 points.