Air Force-San Diego St. Preview
San Diego State is getting ready for Saturday night’s visit from Mountain West rival Air Force, hoping its defense is back on track.
It wasn’t on Tuesday when Wyoming snapped the fifth-ranked Aztecs’ 20-game winning streak.
Wyoming shot almost 58 percent in downing the Aztecs 68-62. The Cowboys converted the highest percentage of shots of an SDSU opponent this season.
”They had a good offense as far as ball movement,” Aztecs forward JJ O’Brien said. ”They are really hard to guard if you aren’t alert, focused and ready. We didn’t come out right and allowed some easy buckets.”
But coach Steve Fisher doesn’t think it will be difficult to get back on track. He said the team is primed to start another run on Saturday.
”I was hoping this day wouldn’t come when a win streak would have to be re-ignited, restarted,” Fisher said after tying a school record for consecutive wins. ”I’m disappointed that we haven’t gotten our 21st straight win, but excited about the opportunity to start another one-game win streak.”
The Aztecs (21-2, 10-1) meet the Falcons while looking to bounce back from a loss with a victory for the seventh consecutive time. SDSU has gone 33 games without back-to-back losses.
”We just got to continue to get better,” forward Winston Shepard said. ”(Wyoming) was a humbling experience and there are a lot of things we can get better at, as with every other game. We’re not going to let this get us down. It’s not the end of the season and we are just going to keep going.”
The players said Fisher and the coaching staff haven’t been piling on in practice after Wyoming. If nothing else, it’s been just the opposite.
”They weren’t harping on the loss,” said guard Xavier Thames. ”We watched the film about it to see what we did wrong. But we worked a lot on Air Force. We’ve moved past it, we learned from our mistakes and are focused on Air Force.”
That concentration includes containing Air Force guard Tre’ Coggins. He scored 29 points on Jan. 12 against the Aztecs, thanks to converting 11 of 18 field-goal attempts.
”We have to do a better job on him,” Fisher said. ”If he’s going to score 29 points he should have to take 100 shots.”
Although Coggins was held to a season-low three points on 1-for-12 shooting, the Falcons (10-13, 4-8) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 51-48 victory over San Jose State on Wednesday. Kamryn Williams stepped up in his place, scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds, while Marek Olesinski added 13 and seven.
Air Force’s only matchup this season against a ranked team was its January loss to San Diego State. The Falcons had lost 64 in a row to Top 25 opponents before a 58-56 victory over the Aztecs on Feb. 18, 2012. They’ve dropped seven of nine such contests since that win, but one of those victories came versus SDSU on Feb. 2, 2013.
Those are the Aztecs’ only losses in the past 12 meetings.