Jan. 15, 2011
AIR FORCE ACADEMY , Colo. (AP) - For the first 32 minutes of Saturday's game between Air Force and UNLV, the Falcons were in control. Eight minutes later, they were reeling from their second straight conference defeat.
Air Force (10-6, 1-2 Mountain West) led 50-45 with 7:39 remaining, but went 6:35 without a basket as the Rebels (14-4, 2-2) went on a 13-0 run to build an eight-point lead. UNLV hit six free throws in the game's final minute to seal the 64-52 comeback victory.
Chace Stanback had a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds and Anthony Marshall and Oscar Bellfield each added 12 points to lead UNLV to a 64-52 comeback victory over Air Force on Saturday.
"We just worked on getting open looks, helping our teammates and staying on them defensively," Stanback said of the game's final eight minutes. "We expected them to come out and play their best game, and they did. It was a tough game, a tough battle. This is something we can build on, and this can definitely help us carry some momentum into the next game."
Air Force missed five shots and the front end of three 1-and-1 free-throw opportunities during that scoreless stretch, but still out-shot UNLV from the field, 42.5-40.8 percent.
"Uncharacteristically of us, we missed them at the line today," Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said. "We've been so good at the free-throw line, and I'll take our chances at the free-throw line. I didn't think we looked out of shape, and we played really hard. I felt like we put ourselves in position to win the game, but we just didn't get it done."
Justin Hawkins came off the bench to score 10 for UNLV, and Derrick Jasper also had 11 boards and a game-high six assists.
"I thought we were really, really solid down the stretch," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "Air Force came out and played well and with a lot of confidence, but we had a lot of guys stepping up making plays at critical times. We were struggling to make things work and get our offense to click, but some guys stepped up to make plays and that picked up everybody else."
Air Force entered the game as the conference's top free-throw shooting team, but struggled from the free-throw line and hit just 12 of 25 shots. The Rebels, however, were 18 of 21 from the line and outrebounded the Falcons 36-26.
"To come here and win on the road is a big boost for us," UNLV's Marshall said.
UNLV struggled from 3-point range for the second consecutive game, hitting just 6 of 24 attempts from beyond the arc following a 1-for-18 performance in its loss to No. 6 San Diego State on Jan. 12.
"We didn't finish," Fow said. "It was very tough being up most of the game and not being able to do what we do and close it out. I think a lot of us would like to have our free throws back."
The first half was a back-and-forth battle, with five ties and seven lead changes. Air Force scored the final six points of the half to take a 28-23 lead at halftime.