Talk about ups and downs. In the space of a few days, San Diego State hit the low-point and the high-point of its season.
The Aztecs began the week with an inexplicable loss to Northern Colorado at home last Wednesday. The defeat halted a 13-game home winning streak. A few days later, the Aztecs traveled to New Mexico, which had won seven straight games and owned a 10-game home winning streak in The Pit.
SDSU rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit and earned a surprising 72-67 road win over the Lobos.
"Our last week's play was a tale of two games. After a home loss against Northern Colorado on Wednesday, we thought we may never win another game," said SDSU coach Steve Fisher.
"After a road victory at New Mexico on Saturday, we're ready to play the New England Patriots. That's the nature of what we do. You feel as good as your last game, then you look forward to your next one.
"We know every game in this league will be extremely taxing and competitive," Fisher said. "If you want to have a chance, you have to play well. We were fortunate to get out of The Pit with a victory."
The Aztecs entered the week on top of the conference standings with a 2-0 record and a 12-4 mark overall.
"They've got some good experience on their team. When they're making shots like they did against us, they're a difficult team to guard because they've got games.so many weapons," New Mexico coach Steve Alford said of the Aztecs."They're a big team. They're a very good rebounding team and they're a well-coached team. You have to play well to beat them."
Newcomers add punch
A number of the league's top scorers and rebounders from a year ago finished their respective careers, but a new crop of players is filling the void this season.
Five junior college transfers are among the top scorers and rebounders in the conference so far this year. Colorado State's Marcus Walker is No. 2 in the league in scoring, averaging 16.8 points per game, and teammate Willis Gardner is No. 15 at 12.9 ppg.
TCU's Henry Salter ranks No. 5 in the MWC in scoring (15.5 ppg) and No. 10 in rebounding (5.9 rpg). Salter is 9-of-14 from 3-point territory over his last two games. He has shot 60 percent or better from behind the arc in six games this season to lead the league and rank third nationally in 3-point shooting.San Diego State's Ryan Amoroso, the preseason newcomer of the year, is No. 9 in rebounding (5.9 rpg).
A few of the league's big men have been sidelined due to foot injuries.
Most notably is Colorado State senior Stuart Creason. The 7-footer is out indefinitely with a foot injury sustained during practice a couple of weeks ago.
And Wyoming freshman center Adam Waddell is out for the rest of the season after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot after playing in just sixAlso, BYU's Vuk Ivanovic is out indefinitely due to a foot injury suffered in practice last week. An MRI this week revealed a fracture in his left foot.
Player of the week
Air Force guard Tim Anderson was named MWC player of the week for the second time this season.The senior from El Paso, Texas, scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Falcons to a 65-53 win over UNLV last Saturday. Anderson was 8-for-9 from the floor and 9-for-12 from the free-throw line and scored 21 of his points in the second half, including 14 in a row.
IronmenLast year, Wyoming guards Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones led the league in minutes played. Once again this season, the Cowboy backcourt leads the conference in that category. Ewing is averaging a league-best 37.79 minutes per game while Jones is No. 2, averaging 35.46 minutes per game.
Air Force shot a season-high 61.8 percent from the floor in its win over UNLV, hitting 21-of-34 field goals. The Falcons claimed their 64th win in 67 games at Clune Arena ... TCU has had 10 or more steals in 10 games this season. The Frogs are No. 4 nationally in steals, averaging 10.9 per contest ... Utah's Johnnie Bryant has scored 83 points in his last five games after scoring only 18 in the three previous games combined. During thatstretch, Bryant, who comes off the bench for the Utes, is shooting 54.7 percent from the floor, including 22-of-44 from 3-point range.