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Air Force-San Jose State Preview - Searching for First Conference Win

Air Force and San Jose State will battle Wednesday evening in Colorado Springs, where one team will walk away with their first Mountain West Conference victory.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Time/TV - 1/7/15 at 7 p.m. MT on MW Network

Records - Air Force 7-6, 0-2; San Jose State 2-12, 0-2

Series - San Jose State leads 3-2

Last Meeting - 2/12/2014 - Air Force 51 San Jose State 48

Last Game - Nevada 80 Air Force 62; Wyoming 64 San Jose St. 59

Either the Air Force Falcons or the San Jose State Spartans will capture their first Mountain West conference victory tonight when they face off in Colorado Springs. The Falcons struggled on the road last week in their conference match-ups and will be playing their first home conference game this season, while the Spartans lost to Utah State on the road and Wyoming at home.

Probable Starting Line-ups

Air Force Falcons


PPG

San Jose St. Spartans


PPG

Trevor Lyons.

G

7.5

Rashad Muhammad

G

12.2

Max Yon

G

14.7

Darryl Gaynor II

G

8.2

Justin Hammonds

F

6.8

Isaac Thornton

G

2.9

Hayden Graham

F

4.9

Jaleel WIlliams

F

10.4

Marek Olesinski

F

8.5

Ivo Basor

C

4.4

The key difference statistically between the two teams this season is shooting. The Falcons are a good shooting team, especially at home, shooting 49% from the field total and 38% from behind the three-point line. The Spartans only shoot 38% total from the field and 30% from deep. The Spartans have struggled to score the ball this season, averaging 55.6 points per game, and on four occasions have failed to score 50 points in a game. The Spartans are coming into the game with confidence however, as they played the current conference leaders Wyoming tough in their last game, in which they were leading the game for over 26 minutes before faltering down the stretch in a five-point loss.

San Jose State is struggling with their bench play this season. The Spartans starters have carried the load for the team this year, and head coach Dave Wojcik stated after the Wyoming game that had it not been for foul trouble he would have played his starters the entire 40 minutes of the game. The Falcons have more depth, with sophomore shooter Zach Kocur leading the way for Air Force. Kocur is shooting lights out from deep for the Falcons this season, hitting 55% from the three-point line and averaging almost six point a game for the Falcons. The Falcons will be missing senior forward Kamryn Williams, who was injured in the San Diego State game. Foul trouble could play a key role in this game for both teams as their depth is tested.

In this game, Air Force will look to continue their offensive balance and share the ball. The Falcons lead the conference with 15.6 assist per game, which has helped them capture the third best scoring offense in the Mountain West. One area that has hurt both teams is turnovers, with San Jose State turning it over 14.4 times a game while Air Force commits nearly as many averaging 13.2 a game. Taking care of the ball for both teams might be the number one factor in who captures their first conference victory of the season.