San Diego State, on the strength of an overwhelming first-half run, dismantled Air Force Friday, winning 98-61.
The Aztecs, trailing 6-5 almost six minutes into the game, poured it on the remainder of the half, going on a 47-10 run to head into the locker room up 52-16.
It was the largest margin of victory for SDSU in Mountain West play since they beat Wyoming by 39 almost exactly a decade ago – on Jan. 29, 2011.
With the win, San Diego State improves to 10-4 and 4-3 in the conference. Air Force falls to 4-9, 2-7 in the MW.
Jordan Schakel led all scorers with 18, and four other SDSU players hit double figures. Aguek Arop and Adam Seiko scored 14, while Nathan Mensah and Keith Dinwiddie both had 13.
San Diego State put its depth on display as the team scored 57 off the bench. Only starters Schakel, Lamont Butler, Terrell Gomez and Trey Pulliam played more than 20 minutes.
Arop, in fact, got his 14 in just 10 minutes on the court.
Butler – in his first college start – and three other young Aztecs, Dinwiddie, Che Evans and Cade Alger, a redshirt freshman, logged minutes in the game.
Butler scored seven, while Evans and Alger had three points each.
Gomez hit a three-pointer to start the Aztecs’ first-half tear. SDSU scored the next eight off of Air Force turnovers. The Falcons failed to score for more than six minutes, as San Diego State built a 27-8 lead.
Air Force narrowed the gap late, as coach Brian Dutcher gave his freshmen time on the court. SDSU only outscored them by one in the second half, 46-45. Dutcher, though, said he wanted the freshmen to “be rewarded for all the work they put in.”
San Diego State faces Air Force again at 7 p.m. Sunday, in a game airing on FS1.