Sophomore Ryan Swan recorded career highs of 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Air Force past San Jose State, 78-71, Saturday afternoon in The Event Center in San Jose, Calif. The win snapped a 24-game conference road losing streak for the Falcons and is their first MW road win since beating San Jose State, 66-52, Jan. 28, 2015.
Air Force came out of the gates fast and opened an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes. The Falcons hit 63 percent from the field and drained seven of their first 11 threes to build a 28-12 lead with 11:08 left in the first half. Air Force went on to lead by as many as 18 points, 33-15, with 7:27 left. San Jose State closed the first half on 19-7 run to cut the lead to 40-34 at the half.
San Jose State opened the second half with an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the game, 45-42, with 16:13 left. The Falcons opened the half 0-7 from the field, including a 0-5 mark from three during the run. The teams exchanged leads until senior Trevor Lyons hit a jumper to give the Falcons the lead for good, 52-51, with 9:04 left. The Falcons build the lead to as many as 10 points, 69-59, with 1:04 left. Air Force hit 9-14 free throws from that point, including five of its last six in the final 17 seconds, to secure the win.
Air Force shot 41.1 percent from the field, including a 39.4 clip from three on 13 of 33 shooting. The Falcons hit 67.9 percent overall from the free throw line and out-rebounded San Jose State, 37-33. The team had 16 assists on 23 made field goals and recorded just eight turnovers.
Jacob Van came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points while recording a season-best four rebounds and match his career high with three 3-pointers. Pervis Louder added 12 points off the bench, while Lavelle Scottie chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds. The Falcons had a 12-7 edge in second chance points and out-score the Spartans, 39-13, in bench scoring.
San Jose State was led by Ryan Welage, who had 17 points and eight rebounds. Jalen James added 13 points, Noah Baumann 11 and Keith Fisher 10. The Spartans hit 47.1 percent from the field, but were held to just 37.0 percent in the second half.
Air Force improved to 7-10 overall and 1-4 in conference play. San Jose State falls to 3-14 overall and 0-6 in the Mountain West. Air Force returns to action at Colorado State, Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m.