Colorado State vs. Air Force men’s and women’s basketball preview

Emmett McCarthy

Men’s basketball preview:

With J.J. Avila having graduated from CSU and Matt Mooney having transferred from Air Force, don’t expect many fireworks in this game – and by fireworks, I mean awkward headlocks and weak kidney punches.

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It’s been a rough week for the Rams. Coming off of back-to-back home losses, CSU needs a win to avoid falling further into a hole in conference play (currently 2-3 in the Mountain West). Air Force has already dug quite a hole of its own (1-4 MW), and will be hoping to use its home court to get back on track against its in-state opponent.

It’s wouldn’t be fair to judge a team solely by its record, but in the Falcons’ case, the nature of their losses are telling. AFA is riding a four-game losing streak with each loss coming by double digits. The most recent? A 100-64 defeat at the hands of UNLV. In addition to giving up three figures in scoring, the Falcons were outrebounded 52-20 and were outscored 26-9 on second-chance points. The Falcons have lacked toughness this season and leading scorer Hayden Graham admitted as much after the most recent loss.

Colorado State, which normally prides itself on defense and rebounding, have struggled at times in those areas this season. But this matchup presents a chance for the Rams to get back to their roots by thoroughly dominating the glass. Look for CSU to rebound both literally and figuratively. Keep an eye out for Graham though; he leads the Falcons in scoring (14.7 per game) and rebounding (6.8 per game) while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from 3-point range.

Against AFA, the Rams are 7-0 under Larry Eustachy. A win Wednesday night in Colorado Springs would give Eustachy his 80th win as head coach at CSU.

TV: ROOT Sports

Location: Clune Arena (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Date/time: Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 

Women’s basketball preview:

There is not much to be said about this one. Colorado State is tied for first in the Mountain West at 5-0 while the Falcons are winless at 0-16 overall and 0-5 in MW play. Dating back to last season, the Falcons have lost 26 straight games.

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The Falcons are led by the backcourt of Cortney Porter and Dee Bennett. Porter leads the team with 11.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. They will be in for quite the task though, as the Rams boast one of the best defenses in the country. CSU gives up 50.9 points per game which ranks No. 7 in the NCAA.

A win would put the Rams at 6-0 in the MW, tying the school’s best start to conference play since 1998-1999.

Location: Moby Arena (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Date/time: Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Collegian Sports Editor Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.