The CSU men’s basketball team hasn’t swept a season series with an opponent since topping TCU twice during the 2006-2007 season, but they’ll have a chance to do it Saturday as they head down to the U.S. Air Force Academy to face the Falcons.
The last time Air Force and CSU met, the Rams were able to pull out their second consecutive Mountain West Conference win at Moby Arena and their first victory over the Falcons since 2004. It was a pair of arguably unlikely heroes in CSU’s 67-56 victory, as newcomers Jesse Carr and Arin Dunn led the Rams with 17 and 10 points, respectively. At the time, those were career highs for both Carr and Dunn.
But for Saturday’s game at Air Force, whether Carr will play or not is still up in the air. He missed Wednesday’s game with a strained groin, an injury he suffered a month ago in practice.
“Jesse has a strained groin, it happened about a month ago and it has been getting worse and worse,” said CSU head coach Tim Miles. “The only thing we think that will help him is time off.”
Now the Rams (8-18, 3-9 MWC) are coming off of a heartbreaking defeat at home, as they took Utah, ranked No. 11 in the latest RPI standings, into overtime on Wednesday before falling 89-79. According to CSU forward Andy Ogide, both he and his teammates have to put the past behind them.
“We’re just gonna have to forget it, because if we think about this loss, then we’ll just go down there and lose,” Ogide said. “We’re just going to have to go down there and play hard and just get a win.”
Air Force (9-16, 0-12 MWC) is sitting dead last in the Mountain West Conference standings and is No. 263 in the RPI, having dropped their last thirteen games, including a 12-point loss to TCU on Wednesday.
Having the chance to win at Air Force for the first time since 2002, Miles stressed the importance of forgetting what happened Wednesday.
“The sun is always going to come up tomorrow and what these guys need to think about (after the loss to Utah) is, ‘OK. How can I get better from )(Wednesday’s) event?'” Miles said. “There’s no time in a competitive world to get too disappointed. Find a way to get better, to go out and compete better so the next time that we’re in the same situation we’ll come out on top.”
Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen televised on The Mtn.
Men’s basketball beat writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.