FRESNO, Calif. --- The Fresno State men's basketball team defeated the Air Force Falcons 71-59 on Saturday at the Save Mart Center.
Fresno State (11-4, 1-1 Mountain West) led for over 35 minutes of the 40-minute contest, which also served as the Bulldogs' annual Salute to Services. Fresno State honored all veterans and active duty military for their service to our country with free admission and recognized heroes throughout the game.
Meanwhile, Air Force (6-8, 0-2 MW) dropped its second straight conference road game to open league play, but the Falcons also battled hard from start to finish.
How it happened: Fresno State used an 18-2 run midway through the first half to take the lead for good and kept grinding its way to its 17th double-digit Mountain West victory since joining the league in 2012.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with baskets from Ray Bowles and Sam Bitner, but Air Force answered.
Trailing 15-11, Fresno State went on a 14-0 run, sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers from Deshon Taylor, to start that 18-2 run, which lifted the 'Dogs to a 29-17 lead over the Falcons.
Fresno State led 31-24 at halftime, and by as many as 14 late in the second half, while dominating the paint 28-18 and crisply moving the basketball en route to 16 assists on 25 made field goals.
Fresno State junior guard Deshon Taylor scored a game-high 18 points with four rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Ray Bowles (16 points) and Jahmel Taylor (10 points) also posted double-figures through the net for the Bulldogs, who improved to 8-2 at home this season.
The Bulldogs' defense limited the Falcons to just 37.8 percent shooting from the field, with Air Force being led by Ryan Swan, who had a team-high 13 points. Fresno State converted 53.2 percent of its field goal attempts and outrebounded AFA 34-22 on the glass.
Fresno State Media Services