San Diego, California - The Aztecs return to San Diego for their final two home games of the season. They host Air Force Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. PT and then take on San Jose State for senior day Saturday at 1:00 p.m. PT. The Aztecs will have a ceremony to honor their six seniors before the game.
Both games this week will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network with Chris Ello calling the action courtside.
Despite multiple comebacks, the Aztecs fell in overtime 73-67 at first place UNLV Saturday afternoon. The Aztecs, who trailed by 13 points in the first half and by seven with two minutes left in regulation, rallied to force overtime, but came up just short despite 24 points from senior McKynzie Fort.
McKynzie Fort, who played the entire game until fouling out in the final minute of overtime, led the Aztecs with 24 points and eight rebounds. Naje Murray (16) and Geena Gomez (15) each had double-digit points and Naomi Ekwedike gave the Aztecs some big minutes off the bench, setting a career-high with seven rebounds and tying a career-high with six points.
McKynzie Fort now has 1,637 career points, good for third on the Aztecs' all-time scoring list. Next up is Falisha Wright (1992-95) with 1,733 career points.
Entering the week, Fort occupies the second spot in the Mountain West with an average of 16.8 points per game. She is also fourth in field-goal percentage amongst qualified players (.471) and tenth in assists. In addition, senior Geena Gomez (10.2 ppg) is eighth in assists (3.8/gm), ninth in three-point accuracy (.375) and tenth in three-pointers made per game (1.8).
The Aztecs have already set a program record for season attendance. With two home games still remaining, the Aztecs have had 21,142 fans through 14 games for an average of 1,510. This breaks the total and average attendance records set in 2007-08, when the Aztecs drew 14,730 fans for an average of 1,133 per game.
Collectively, the Aztecs are slotted sixth in the MW this week in three-point field goal percentage (33.8) and in three-pointers made (6.9/gm). They also rank fifth in rebounding margin (0.0) and in rebounds per game (37.4).
As a team, SDSU is averaging 64.8 points per game while yielding 68.5 on the defensive side of the ball. In addition, the Aztecs are shooting 39.4 percent from the floor and 33.8 percent from three-point territory.
Following this week's home games, the Aztecs head on the road for their final two games of the regular season. They play at Boise State Tuesday evening (6:00 p.m. PT) and at Nevada on Friday (6:30 p.m. PT).
All-Time Series vs. Air Force
- Wednesday's game will be the 43rd meeting between the two schools.
- The Aztecs have won 13 of the past 15 meetings.
- The Aztecs are 16-3 all-time against the Falcons on their home floor.
- The Aztecs lost at Air Force 61-51 on February 3rd despite 20 points from McKynzie Fort.
- Their first meeting was in 1997, a 70-41 home win for the Aztecs. SDSU would win 13 of the first 14 meetings between the two schools (1997-2004).
Scouting the Falcons
- Air Force is 2-23 overall on the season and has a 2-12 mark in the Mountain West. Their wins came at home against Utah State (57-50, 1-24-18) and San Diego State (61-51, 2-3-18).
- The Falcons are 0-11 on the road this season.
- Freshman Kaelin Immell leads the team in scoring with 14.6 ppg, which is the most for a freshman at Air Force in the D-I era.
- Emily Conroe also scores in double-digits, averaging 10.4 points per game. She poured in 19 points against the Aztecs earlier this year.
- Senior Cortney Porter leads the team with 4.2 assists per game, the fourth best rate in the conference. She also leads the MW and is 24th in the nation with 2.8 steals per game. She had 12 points and 14 rebounds against the Aztecs in their last meeting.
- Air Force ranks 26th in the nation in turnovers forced, averaging 20.4 per game.
- Air Force also ranks 33rd in the nation in steals, averaging 10.6 per game.
- The Falcons are last in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.64), field-goal percentage (.349), rebounds (33.5 pg), scoring offense (55.2 ppg), three-point percentage (.261) and turnovers (17.7 pg).
- Head coach Chris Gobrecht is in her third season at Air Force and in her 38th season overall as a head coach. Entering the season, she had 549 career wins, the 23rd most amongst active D-1 coaches. She has previously coached for Cal State Fullerton (1979-85), Washington (1985-96), Florida State (1996-97), USC (1997-2004) and Yale (2005-15).
Notes with a 'W'
- An Aztec victory over Air Force on Wednesday will mean:
- SDSU will improve to 11-15 overall and 5-10 in the Mountain West.
- The Aztecs will win their 14th game against the Falcons in their last 16 meetings.
- SDSU will win improve to 9-6 at home.
- The Aztecs will match their win total from last season.
- SDSU will improve to 17-3 all-time against Air Force at home.
Noting the UNLV Game
- Naomi Ekwedike tied a season-high with 15 minutes and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds and tied her career-high with six points.
- Geena Gomez has scored in double-digits in six of the past seven games, averaging 13.1 points in that span.
- After scoring 15 points in the game's first 16 minutes, the Aztecs would rack up 15 points in the first half's final four minutes.
- Geena Gomez went 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, the most attempts without a miss by an Aztec this season.
- Freshman Naje Murray set career-highs in rebounds (7) and steals (4).
- Geena Gomez and Khalia Lark remain the only two Aztecs to start all 25 games this season.
- San Diego State is 7-5 this season when holding the opposition to under 40 percent shooting from the field.
- The Aztecs are 7-2 when scoring 70 points or more and 3-13 when they don't.
- In addition, the Aztecs are 7-4 on the year when out-rebounding their foes.
- In ten wins this season, SDSU is averaging 75.6 points per game and is shooting 44.4 percent from the floor, including a 40.6 percent pace on three-pointers.
- In 15 defeats, however, the Aztecs are averaging just 57.6 points per contest, connecting on 35.8 percent of their field-goal attempts, including a 28.7 clip on treys.
- Similarly, the Aztecs have fared better statistically in home games compared to road contests. In 14 home games, SDSU is averaging 68.5 points while draining 41.4 percent of its field-goal attempts and 35.4 percent of its tries from long-range. However, in nine road games, the Scarlet and Black is averaging 59.9 points while shooting 38.4 percent from the floor, including a 31.6 percent pace from outside the arc.
Fort-ifying the Aztecs' Offense
- With an average of 16.8 points in 24 starts, senior McKynzie Fort currently boasts 1,637 career points, which ranks third on the school's all-time charts. She also ranks second in free-throws made (369), third in free-throws attempted (512) and field goals attempted (1,371) and fourth in field goals made (622).
- Fort ranks in the top 45 among all active Division-I players in the above categories, including 35th in career points.