The Fresno State Bulldogs’ Jan. 20 men’s basketball game at Air Force that was canceled due to the shutdown of the federal government has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 26, one of two Monday dates that fit snugly into the schedule.
“Obviously, you want to play all of your league contests and we created an opportunity for us both,” coach Rodney Terry said. “It’s not ideal for either of us – you’re not going to find the perfect time for both of us. But we have found a time that fits in both of our schedules to try to replay the contest.”
Fresno State (15-6, 5-3 in the Mountain West), which is in third place in the conference, will play Wyoming at the Save Mart Center on Saturday and travel to Air Force for the Monday game. The Bulldogs will end up playing back-to-back road games, but it will have five days before it ends the regular season on March 3 at New Mexico.
The other date considered was Feb. 12. The Bulldogs play San Diego State at home on Tuesday, Feb. 6, but if they were to play on that Monday they would have to return home and then travel to San Jose State for a Wednesday, Feb. 14 game.
Given a challenging turnaround and travel to play a Monday game, the Bulldogs will have a charter flight for both legs of the trip. The Air Force athletic department put up $15,000 toward the cost and Fresno State is working through the details in funding the rest of the trip.
“There’s no way you could do it (on a commercial airline),” Terry said. “We play Saturday against a really good Wyoming team here and then we have to go way over and play a good Air Force team on their home court in a one-day deal, travel Sunday and play Monday. That’s tough. We’re going to have to do that, but you have to do that with the least amount of issues.
“It’ll be like the Big 12 or the Big Ten, playing Big Monday games. We play Saturday, we’ll charter over just like they do, play the game and charter back, just like they do. It’s a big Monday game late in the year in a tough environment against a team that always plays really well at home.”
Air Force plays Utah State at home on Feb. 24 before playing the Bulldogs and has a road game at Wyoming on Feb. 28. The Falcons will end up playing three games in five days, the first two on their home floor.
The Bulldogs’ women will make up their game with Air Force on Monday at the Save Mart Center. They play at Utah State on Saturday and will end up playing three games in five days with Nevada in Fresno on Wednesday.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
UTAH STATE AT FRESNO STATE
- Saturday: 4 p.m. at Save Mart Center
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network/KFIG (AM 940), KGST (AM 1600)
- Records: Bulldogs 15-6, 5-3 Mountain West; Aggies 11-11, 4-5
- Of note: The Aggies snapped a four-game losing streak with a 71-49 victory over Air Force on Wednesday. Utah State had started Mountain West play 3-1 including an 81-79 overtime victory over Fresno State on Jan. 3 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Bulldogs were up by 10 points with 4:12 remaining in that game, but the Aggies rallied behind Koby McEwan. The Utah State guard scored a game-high 28 points. Utah State is 1-7 on the road this season, 1-3 away from home in conference play. The defense was suspect in that four-game losing streak – the Aggies allowed 80-plus points in losses to Colorado State, at Nevada and to Wyoming. Nevada and Wyoming can score, but Colorado State started the week ranked ninth in the Mountain West in scoring and last in field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage.