Colorado St. Rams vs. Air Force Falcons Pick & Prediction JANUARY 16th 2024

No. 17 Colorado State dropped back-to-back road games last week and the aftermath of each loss featured a similar occurrence.

“We got court-stormed twice,” Rams coach Niko Medved said.

Now, Colorado State looks to put the disappointing setbacks in the rearview mirror as it hosts Air Force in Mountain West play on Tuesday night at Fort Collins, Colo.

Students (and fans) rushed the court at the home venues of Utah State and Boise State after the Rams lost to the Aggies 77-72 on Jan. 6 and the Broncos 65-58 on Tuesday.

Colorado State (13-3, 1-2) is now intent on making sure the losing streak ends quickly.

“Sitting here at 13-3, everything we want is still in front of us,” Medved said. “The level of basketball being played in this league is absolutely tremendous. The coaches do a great job.”

The Rams scored their fewest points of the season in the loss to Boise State.

Colorado State was just 4-of-16 from 3-point range and the Rams committed 16 turnovers. Star guard Isaiah Stevens made six of the miscues while scoring a team-best 15 points.

“We had several really clean looks and sometimes you need one or two of those to go down in crucial moments and you’re right there,” Medved said. “But we didn’t, so now it’s on to the next one.”

The Rams average 81.7 points per game and shoot 52 percent from the floor.

Stevens leads Colorado State in scoring (17.4), assists (7.1), 3-pointers (27) and steals (23).

Nique Clifford is averaging 13.3 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds while shooting 60.2 percent from the floor. Patrick Cartier is shooting 60.9 percent while averaging 13.2 points and Joel Scott is scoring 11.3 points per game and has a team-best 16 blocked shots.

The Rams have won nine of their past 10 meetings against Air Force, which comes in having lost six in a row.

The Falcons (7-8, 0-3) had a chance to end their slide on Saturday but fell 70-67 to visiting San Jose State. Myron Amey Jr. made a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Spartans the victory.

“It definitely does sting a little bit,” Air Force forward Beau Becker said afterward. “We got to start stronger than that.”

Air Force held a five-point lead with 2:22 remaining after Ethan Taylor knocked down his fifth trey of the contest.

But the Falcons were outscored 9-1 down the stretch.

“Winning is hard,” Air Force coach Joe Scott said. “Once you learn that, ‘OK, I have to be the same every day.’ “

“… We’ll get ready to go to Fort Collins and play a really, really good team.”

Taylor led the Falcons with 19 points against San Jose State. Becker added 18.

Taylor leads Air Force in scoring (17.1) and 3-point baskets (53). Rytis Petraitis is averaging 16.6 points and Becker is scoring 14.9 per game and has made 35 3-pointers.

The Falcons haven’t been victorious since cruising to an 80-58 road victory over Portland on Dec. 3.

Prior to the San Jose State loss, Air Force lost its first two Mountain West games by an average of 20.5 points, losing 88-60 at home to Utah State and falling 67-54 at Nevada.

–Field Level Media

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