Aztecs dominate Air Force 98-61

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Credit: SDSU

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The San Diego State Aztecs of old showed up Friday night, as SDSU dominated the Air Force Falcons, 98-61. The 37-point victory is the largest road victory in Mountain West Conference history.

For the first time in a while, the Aztecs played fantastic on both sides of the ball. As

usual, the defense consistently showed up recently for SDSU. However, the offense also showed up against Air Force in their best performance of the year.

SDSU made 54.5% of their shots, including 13 three-pointers on 29 shots.

In the previous series for the Aztecs, Utah State stifled San Diego State offensively with their tenth-ranked defense, according to KenPom. Air Force’s defense ranked 306th according to KenPom, and San Diego State took advantage of it.

With Matt Mitchell missing his second game due to injury, head coach Brian Dutcher opted to go with a three-point guard lineup, starting Trey Pulliam, Terrell Gomez, and Lamont Butler along with Jordan Schakel and Nathan Mensah. The lineup worked, as San Diego State roared out to a great start and never looked back.

Despite the blowout, Schakel and Mensah were the only starters to score over ten points. Schakel lit it up from the floor, scoring 18 points in what could have been way more had he not been pulled early. When Schakel goes, so do the Aztecs.

While the starters didn’t stuff the stat sheet, the bench did.

Adam Seiko is normally good for some threes, so his 14-point performance did not come as too big of a surprise. This is a career-high in points for him.

“My teammates trust me and are always encouraging me on the bad days and the good days,” Seiko said. “It was good to go out there and have a good game today.”

Aguek Arop set a career-high with 14 points while going 5-5 from the floor. Freshman Keith Dinwiddie Jr. finally made it back on the floor, and he showed out. Dinwiddie knocked down a couple of three-pointers en route to 13 points.

Even though Pulliam did not score, he still provided offensively with six assists and five rebounds.

Terrell Gomez chose a fantastic game not to shoot his best. The normally reliable shooter only made one shot on his eight attempts, even though he added four assists.

It will be important to replicate this performance in game two of the series against Air Force. Oftentimes after a beatdown, the winner will come out flat in the next game. Since Air Force will now have seen the Aztecs play in person, it will be easier for them to adjust for the next game.

“Now, both teams will go make adjustments, and it will be a completely new game on Sunday,” Dutcher said. “We can’t get full of ourselves knowing this is a team that is going to come out and play inspired basketball against us on Sunday.”

San Diego State will meet Air Force again on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. PT.

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