Air Force and UNLV both will be trying to end six-game losing streaks in this afternoon’s game.
The Falcons have lost six straight in Mountain West Conference regular season play, while the Runnin’ Rebels have lost six straight games at Clune Arena.
You can find my preview story (deals with freshman Taylor Stewart) here and my three things to watch below. Also, for a view from the other side, check out some stories from The Las Vegas Review-Journal, here and here.
Finally, check out David Ramsey’s take on the women’s basketball program here.
3 THINGS TO WATCH
1. AIR FORCE’S SHOOTING
Of all the problems the Falcons have had throughout Mountain West Conference play, none has been bigger than their shooting. After making 47.5 percent of their shots from the floor in nonconference play, including 43.3 percent from 3-point range, Air Force’s shooting percentages have dropped to 38.0 and 30.3 in league play. The defenses the Falcons have faced have improved, but that doesn’t explain the free throw shooting. Air Force’s dropped from 70.4 in nonconference play to 57.0 in MWC play.
2. UNLV F RENE ROUGEAU
Senior guard Wink Adams is an explosive scorer who leads UNLV with 13.8 points per game. But the versatile 6-foot-6 Rougeau is in many ways the Rebels’ key performer. In addition to scoring 11.1 points per game, he leads UNLV in blocks (40), steals (30), shooting percentage (57.8) and rebounds (7.3 per game). “He can really play a lot of different spots for them,” Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said. “He’s making perimeter shots, very good rebounder, good post-up player.”
3. AIR FORCE’S MATT HOLLAND AND ANDREW HENKE
Prior to the season, Reynolds called the 6-6 senior forwards his “bookends.” But lately, when one has held up his end of the bargain, the other hasn’t. Holland had 25 points against Colorado State on Jan. 20, while Henke had nine. Last Tuesday at Wyoming, Henke had 18 while Holland had three. Both will need to have big games if Air Force is to upset the Rebels.
Quote to Note: “Defensively, I think they’re better than they were last year, and offensively I think they’ve played the best in their last two games.” – Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds on UNLV.
Note to Quote: On Jan. 14, UNLV lost at Colorado State to a Rams team that had dropped 19 consecutive MWC regular season games. A week later the Rebels snapped BYU’s 25-game home conference winning streak. UNLV hasn’t had much luck lately at Clune Arena, dropping six straight on Air Force’s home floor.