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Recap: San Diego State 67, Air Force 70
Line Movements
Date: February 02, 2013 3:00 PM EDT
  

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Everywhere they go, the Air Force Falcons see constant reminders of outsiders' low expectations for the long-struggling program.

The media picked them to finish last in a deep Mountain West Conference, a preseason prediction that's plastered to the locker room doors and across grease boards.

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``We have some great teams in this league, but ninth? Come on!' coach Dave Pilipovich said Saturday as he basked in the Falcons' 70-67 victory over No. 22 San Diego State. ``I joke that there were a couple of guys that picked us 10th - and we're in a nine-team league. We constantly remind ourselves: This is what people think of us.'

Maybe not anymore.

Michael Lyons scored 20 points and the Falcons fended off San Diego State by overcoming 25 points and 10 rebounds from Aztecs star Jamaal Franklin, who scored 14 over the final 9 minutes to help San Diego State nearly overcome a 12-point deficit.

The Falcons' latest stunner sets up a showdown in Albuquerque, N.M., next week for - get this - first place in one of the toughest conferences in college basketball this season.

There's talk that the league could get five or even six NCAA tournament bids this year, and now the Falcons are crashing the party. They'll take some serious swagger into The Pit, the next stop on their told-you-so tour.

``We know how great New Mexico is but we're going to prepare like we always do,' senior guard Todd Fletcher said after scoring 13 points. ``I mean, we were picked ninth in the league, so we have nothing to lose.'

The Falcons won for just the third time in 81 games against ranked opponents - but two of those wins have come against the Aztecs, whom they defeated 58-56, also at Clune Arena, on Feb. 18, 2012.

Asked why they match up so well against San Diego State, three Falcons stared blankly at each other in the postgame interview room. Finally, Fletcher retorted: ``Do we match up well?'

On this afternoon, they were every bit as good as the Aztecs, who had two chances in the waning seconds to send it into overtime with a 3-pointer only to see shots by Franklin and then James Rahom (14 points) rim out.

``To win a game like this you have to make plays. You have to get a lucky bounce on a play and they had one more than we did,' San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. ``We still had an opportunity but we didn't get it.'

After Rahon's miss, Lyons secured the rebound, hugging the ball for the final second and then heaving it into the air, accidentally knocking a pair of panels off the overhanging scoreboard as the cadets stormed the court.

The Falcons (14-6, 5-2 MWC) won their fifth straight at Clune Arena, while the Aztecs (16-5, 4-3) lost for only the second time in their last 10 games against Air Force.

The Falcons used a 19-2 run to take control at 59-47, then held on as Franklin scored 18 points in the second half. He finished 11 for 12 from the foul line, his only miss a big one with less than a minute left and the Aztecs trailing by two.

Franklin sank the second free throw to make it 68-67 before Kamryn Williams hit two of his own at the other end after nearly losing the ball off his foot for a 70-67 lead with 19.1 seconds left.

The Aztecs had beaten their previous two opponents by 21 points each, including a 55-34 blowout of then-No. 15 New Mexico, their biggest margin of victory over a ranked team in school history.

But they were just 2 for 19 from beyond the arc at Air Force, where they were outscored from long range by 30 points.

The Aztecs outrebounded the Falcons 37-23, including 15-5 on the offensive glass.

``Our strength for us against Air Force should be offensive rebounding,' Fisher said. ``That was something that we talked about should be a huge plus for us. It was, but it wasn't quite enough.'

Led by a career-best eight points from sophomore Marek Olesinski, the Falcons' reserves also outscored the Aztecs' bench by 23-6.

``We got beat today,' Franklin said. ``I always say, when I'm on the court, I'm enemies with everyone I play against, but after the game you have to show good sportsmanship and give credit when it is due.'

---

Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SDSU  -185   -4   132.5 
 AIR  +165   +4   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SDSU  -190   -4    
 AIR  +165   +4   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SDSU  92%   86%   n/a 
 AIR  8%   14%   n/a 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NCAA BK RECAPS
 Saturday, Feb 2
 
    Cincinnati at Seton Hall
11:00 AM EDT
    Clemson at Boston College
12:00 PM EDT
    Virginia Tech at North Carolina
12:00 PM EDT
    Purdue at Northwestern
12:00 PM EDT
    Hofstra at William Mary
12:00 PM EDT
    Syracuse at Pittsburgh
12:00 PM EDT
    Austin Peay at Murray State
1:00 PM EDT
    Auburn at Missouri
1:45 PM EDT
    Georgia at South Carolina
1:45 PM EDT
    West Virginia at Texas Tech
1:45 PM EDT
    Dayton at Saint Louis
2:00 PM EDT
    UNC Wilmington at Delaware
2:00 PM EDT
    Notre Dame at DePaul
2:00 PM EDT
    Duke at Florida State
2:00 PM EDT
    Old Dominion at Georgia State
2:00 PM EDT
    Wisconsin-Green Bay at Loyola-Chicago
2:00 PM EDT
    Wake Forest at Maryland
2:00 PM EDT
    Tulsa at Memphis
2:00 PM EDT
    Colorado at Utah
2:30 PM EDT
    Bradley at Creighton
3:00 PM EDT
    Houston at Southern Methodist
3:00 PM EDT
    Evansville at Missouri St
3:00 PM EDT
    San Diego State at Air Force
3:00 PM EDT
    Idaho State at North Dakota
3:00 PM EDT
    Tennessee at Arkansas
4:00 PM EDT
    Rhode Island at Butler
4:00 PM EDT
    St Johns at Georgetown
4:00 PM EDT
    Southern Illinois at Illinois State
4:00 PM EDT
    George Mason at James Madison
4:00 PM EDT
    Oklahoma State at Kansas
4:00 PM EDT
    Miami (FL) at North Carolina State
4:00 PM EDT
    Alabama at Vanderbilt
4:00 PM EDT
    Oregon at California
4:30 PM EDT
    Louisiana State at Mississippi St
5:30 PM EDT
    Temple at St Josephs
6:00 PM EDT
    Drexel at Northeastern
6:00 PM EDT
    Kentucky at Texas AM
6:00 PM EDT
    Kansas State at Oklahoma
6:00 PM EDT
    Yale at Dartmouth
7:00 PM EDT
    Mississippi at Florida
7:00 PM EDT
    Brown at Harvard
7:00 PM EDT
    Cal Poly SLO at Long Beach State
7:00 PM EDT
    Ohio State at Nebraska
7:00 PM EDT
    Indiana State at Drake
7:30 PM EDT
    Cleveland State at Illinois Chicago
8:00 PM EDT
    Baylor at Iowa State
8:00 PM EDT
    Texas Christian at Texas
8:00 PM EDT
    Southern Miss at UAB
8:00 PM EDT
    Montana at Eastern Washington
9:00 PM EDT
    Michigan at Indiana
9:00 PM EDT
    Weber State at Northern Colo
9:00 PM EDT
    Northern Arizona at Southern Utah
9:00 PM EDT
    Tulane at Texas El Paso
9:00 PM EDT
    Santa Barbara at UC Irvine
10:00 PM EDT
    Northridge at Cal Riverside
10:00 PM EDT
    Utah State at Seattle University
10:00 PM EDT
    UC Davis at Pacific
10:30 PM EDT
    Montana State at Portland State
10:30 PM EDT
    Gonzaga at San Diego
11:00 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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