National Basketball Association
San Diego St. 73, Air Force 60
When: 2:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 5, 2020
Where: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
# John Higgins, # Shawn Lehigh, # Deldre Carr
Jordan Schakel scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half as 5th-ranked San Diego State rallied for a 73-60 victory over Air Force in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Schakel, who tied his career-high with five 3-pointers, was 4-for-5 beyond the arc after halftime to spark the Aztecs (29-1), who trailed by as many as eight points in the second half.
Mountain West player of the year Malachi Flynn finished with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Yanni Wetzell also scored 16 points, and Matt Mitchell added 10 points for San Diego State, which will play fifth-seeded Boise State in the semifinals on Friday night.
A.J. Walker finished with a game-high 18 points, Caleb Morris had 12 points and Sid Tomes added 10 points for Air Force (12-20), which fell to 0-17 all-time in Mountain West tournament quarterfinal contests.
Air Force shot 60 percent from the field while taking a 37-33 halftime lead, including a sizzling 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from 3-point range against an Aztecs' defense that entered the contest ranked fifth in the nation in 3-point percentage defense (28.4 percent). Walker led the way with 14 points, including 2 of 3 beyond the arc, and Tomes added eight points, including two treys, as the Falcons led by as many as six points.
Air Force extended its lead to eight, 41-33, at the start of the second half on a jumper by Walker. But San Diego State answered with a 11-3 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Schakel to tie it, 44-44, with 14:29 remaining.
After Lavelle Scottie sank a free throw to put the Falcons back ahead, 45-44, Schakel hit a 3-pointer to start an 8-0 run for San Diego State, which took a 52-45 lead with 10:06 remaining.
After Tomes made two free throws to cut it to 52-47, the Aztecs pulled away with another 8-0 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Schakel and Mitchell to boost their lead to 60-47. Air Force missed 11 straight shots before Morris sank a 3-pointer with 5:32 left to end a 27-6 run by the Aztecs.
The Falcons got as close as six points with 2:10 left on two free throws by Ameka Akaya before the Aztecs closed the game out with an 7-0 run.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
||San Diego St.
A.J. Walker 18
Jordan Schakel 17
A.J. Walker 3
Malachi Flynn 8
Ryan Swan 5
Malachi Flynn 7
Ameka Akaya 2
||Free Throws Made
Malachi Flynn 6
Lavelle Scottie 3
Malachi Flynn 3
Yanni Wetzell 2
Team Stats Summary
|San Diego St.