The federal government shutdown cost Fresno State basketball games Saturday against Air Force.
The academy announced Saturday morning that all of its athletics events were canceled in the wake of the shutdown that started at 9 p.m. Friday.
“In the event a solution is reached, the Academy will work to reschedule as many missed events as possible,” says a statement posted on the Air Force athletics website.
Fresno State’s men were set to play in Colorado Springs, coming off victories over New Mexico and at San Diego State.
“Both teams wanted to play, obviously,” coach Rodney Terry said. “They’re playing really well. (Coach Dave Pilipovich) has done a great job with his group. We feel like we’re playing pretty well, as well. I think you had two teams that really wanted to play today, but given the circumstances it was out of our control.”
Air Force also had won two games in a row, at San Jose State and at Colorado State.
The games could be rescheduled, but there is no easy fit the rest of the way. The Bulldogs (14-6, 4-3 in the MW) have an open Saturday on Feb. 10, but Air Force is scheduled to play New Mexico that day. They also have open Wednesday, Feb. 28, but the Falcons are at Wyoming.
Air Force (8-10, 2-4) has an open date remaining on Wednesday, Jan. 31, but Fresno State plays at Nevada.
There also is no break between the end of the regular season and the start of the Mountain West Tournament, but it is something the conference will have to work through in determining tournament seeding.
The Mountain West released a statement on the cancellation: “We are in constant communication with the United States Air Force Academy as well as the affected institutions. It is a fluid situation that changes hourly. We we have concrete information, we will share it.”
The Bulldogs are tied with New Mexico in third place in the conference and there are five teams separated by one game in the standings with the Bulldogs at Lobos at 4-3, San Diego State at 3-3 and Colorado State and Utah State at 3-4.
“That’s something we’re going to have to look at on both ends looking at our schedule and looking at their schedule and seeing if there’s a possibility that wouldn’t put either of us at a disadvantage,” Terry said.
“We’re going to have to get back and really map it out and look at it. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a situation where it’s tough for both of us in terms of making it work. We came all the way over here already. It’s not the easiest trip to get to, for us anyway.”
Fresno State was set to catch a commercial flight back home on Saturday. The Bulldogs play UNLV on Tuesday at the Save Mart Center.
“We were prepared to play a really tough team on their home court, knowing it was probably going to come down to a possession game, because all of our games have come down that way when we’ve played here,” Terry said. “We’ll still have a two-day prep for a good UNLV team that’s coming in, that’s really athletic. We’ll start our preparation for those guys.”
The Bulldogs women were scheduled to play the Falcons at the Save Mart Center, and are in the same situation as the men as far as rescheduling the game. Coach Jaime White’s team is tied for fourth in the league with New Mexico and Colorado State, and could lose a game against an Air Force team that is 0-17 and 0-6 in conference play.
Fresno State beat the Falcons 64-58 on Dec.. 30, 2017 when they played at Colorado Springs.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
UNLV AT FRESNO STATE MEN
- Tuesday: 8 p.m. at Save Mart Center
- TV/radio: CBS Sports Network/KFIG (AM 940), KGST (AM 1600)
- Records: Bulldogs 14-6, 4-3 Mountain West; Rebels 14-5, 3-3
- FRESNO STATE WOMEN AT UNLV
- Wednesday: 6 p.m. at Cox Pavilion
- TV/radio: Mountain West Network
- Records: Bulldogs 9-9, 4-3 Mountain West; Rebels 10-7, 5-1