No. 24 San Diego St. jumps on Air Force early, coasts to win

Reese Waters shot 5-for-8 from 3-point distance for all 15 of his points to help No. 24 San Diego State defeat Air Force 77-64 on Tuesday night in their Mountain West matchup in Colorado Springs.

Jaedon LeDee had 14 points and nine rebounds, Micah Parrish also scored 14 points and Lamont Butler contributed 11 for the Aztecs (18-5, 7-3 MWC), who moved into a four-way tie for first in the Mountain West with No. 23 Utah State, No. 25 New Mexico and Boise State.

Jeffrey Mills and Beau Becker scored 15 points each to lead Air Force (8-14, 1-9), which has lost 12 of its past 13 games.

The Aztecs shot 70 percent from the floor in the first half, including 8-for-11 from 3-point distance, to build a 45-20 lead.

San Diego State cooled off from 3-point distance, shooting 3-for-11 in the second half, but the Falcons couldn’t get any closer than 19 until scoring the final eight points of the game with the reserves on the floor.

The Aztecs took the lead for good with a 10-0 run that put them ahead 16-8 with 12:53 left in the first half.

Air Force’s Byron Brown ended the run with a three-point play, but San Diego State continued to expand its lead.

Waters swished another 3-pointer in transition to make it 28-13, and Butler scored on a baseline drive out of a timeout to make it 30-13.

Butler then capped the 13-0 run with another lightly contested drive to the basket that stretched the advantage to 32-13 with 6:45 left in the half.

The Aztecs, who combined to shoot 19-for-43 from 3-point distance in their previous two games, stayed hot from beyond the arc throughout the opening half.

Miles Byrd made a 3-pointer, his only shot attempt of the first half, to make it 35-15, Waters sank another trey with 2:01 remaining for a 41-19 lead and then made his fourth 3-pointer of the half with 1:04 to go for a 44-19 advantage.

The Aztecs weren’t just hot on the offensive end in the first half, also forcing 11 of Air Force’s 14 turnovers before the break.