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San Diego State vs Air Force

Time: 04:00 P.M. EST
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After prevailing in a close game last time out, San Diego State has an opportunity to match the second-longest win streak in school history.

The 13th-ranked Aztecs haven't been as successful in close games at Air Force in recent seasons and will try to avoid a third straight loss there Sunday.

San Diego State nearly blew a 14-point lead in the final six minutes against visiting Boise State on Wednesday but came away with a 69-66 win, its 12th in a row. The team's two leading scorers, Xavier Thames and Winston Shepard, were the only players in double figures with 16 points apiece.

The Aztecs (13-1, 2-0 Mountain West) will next try to match the 13-game win streak from their 1955-56 squad. They won 20 in a row in 2010-11.

To move closer toward matching that school record, San Diego State will have to solve its recent struggles at Air Force (8-6, 2-1). The Aztecs have lost their last two visits by a combined five points - each time as a ranked team - and shot a combined 5 of 25 from 3-point range.

They were ranked 22nd in a 70-67 loss Feb. 2 after rallying from a double-digit deficit in the second half. San Diego State scored just one point in the final 1:43.

Thames sat out that game because of a strained lower back, and he shot 2 for 7 in a 58-56 road loss to the Falcons on Feb. 18, 2012. The then-No. 13 Aztecs led for most of that game but allowed Air Force to go on a late 9-2 run.

The Falcons are 4-80 all-time against ranked opponents.

"They are a hard team to play against, and they're a harder team to play against in a short-preparation week," coach Steve Fisher said.

Air Force enters this game having won four in a row at home and beat Utah State 73-72 in its conference opener Jan. 1, improving to 8-1 in its last nine home games in league play. The Falcons followed with a 75-68 win at UNLV three days later but fell 71-65 at Fresno State on Wednesday.

Air Force cut a late double-digit deficit to four points with 34 seconds to go but couldn't get any closer. Leading scorer Tre Coggins (17.0 points per game) had 21 points, hitting four 3-pointers for the third time in four games, and Max Yon added 20.

"This is a team capable of beating anyone they play, and they're more capable when they have you coming into their building," Fisher said. "So I would think we're a little more attentive (this time). We showed (our players) a lot of film of them against us in the last year or two, and I think it's helpful for us."

San Diego State has won nine of 11 overall matchups in the series and survived a 33.9 percent shooting performance in a 58-51 home victory March 6. The Falcons shot 33.3 percent in that game and are 2-6 this season when held below 50.0 percent.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
San Diego St16-231-5
New Mexico15-327-7
UNLV10-820-13
Nevada10-815-17
Boise St.9-921-13
Wyoming9-918-15
Fresno St.9-921-18
Utah St.7-1118-14
Colorado St.7-1116-16
Air Force6-1212-18
San Jose St.1-177-24
 

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