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Coggins held to 9 points in 64-56 loss to SDSU

Saturday - 2/15/2014, 11:30pm  ET

San Diego State forward Winston Shepard throws in a bank shot as Air Force forward Kamryn Williams, left, and Marek Olesinski defend during the second half San Diego State's 64-56 victory in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Air Force Falcons could have used a little more of Tre' Coggins against No. 5 San Diego State on Saturday night.

Coggins was held to nine points, nearly seven below his average, as the Aztecs beat the Falcons 64-56.

Coggins had scored 29 points in a home loss to SDSU on Jan. 13.

"They were really on him," Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich said. "They were there on the catch and they are so long with their extra length and size that he couldn't create a little space to create an advantage there."

SDSU's Winston Shepard scored 14 of his 16 points in the final 7 minutes, 14 seconds.

After the Falcons closed to 54-50 with 2:28 to go, Shepard converted a three-point play and hit two more free throws to give SDSU some breathing room.

Shepard also keyed a 9-0 run earlier in the second half with a 3-pointer, a slam dunk following a steal by Xavier Thames and two free throws.

Thames and Dwayne Polee II each scored 13 points for SDSU (22-2, 11-1 Mountain West), which had its 20-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night at Wyoming. It was SDSU's first loss since a 69-60 home defeat to Arizona on Nov. 14. Josh Davis had 10 rebounds.

Max Yon scored 20 and Kamryn Williams 12 for Air Force (10-14, 4-9).

"Tre' had an off night, so somebody had to step up," Yon said. "So Kam Williams and I took over the scoring a little bit, but it just wasn't our night.

"I think we handled their pressure better this time around, but they are long. We did a good job rebounding. But being in this environment, with them at home is an advantage for them. But we are right there and can play with anybody with the way we battled."

Said Pilipovich: "That is a heck of a good team. They just come at you with so many guys and they are so long and it's something that we can't duplicate in practice.

"Xavier is such a good player. I can't wait until he graduates. I might come to the graduation. He is such a great player and keeps them involved in everything."

With the game tied at 28 four minutes into the second half, Thames made consecutive 3-pointers and Polee had a tip-in and then a slam dunk on an alley-oop pass from Shepard to give the Aztecs a 38-28 lead.

Air Force closed to 44-40 on Yon's three-point play and a reverse layup by DeLovell Earls sandwiched around a 3-pointer by SDSU's Aqeel Quinn.

Shepard then came on strong for SDSU during a 9-0 run that gave the Aztecs a 53-40 lead with 5:20 left. Shepard had a 3-pointer, a slam dunk after a steal and pass by Thames and two free throws. JJ O'Brien had a bank shot.

San Diego State led 24-23 at halftime after scoring 12 of the final 18 points.

Air Force went on a 9-0 run to go up 17-12, getting a reverse and a 3-pointer by Yon and a reverse layup by Earls.

SDSU answered with a 10-0 run. Polee made a 3-pointer and two free throws, Josh Davis a layup, O'Brien a bank shot and Thames a free throw.

Air Force stayed close, though, as Earls made a fast break layup and Yon had two layups.

SDSU shot just 34.6 percent in the half, and Air Force shot 34.6 in the first half.


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