Jan. 19, 2013
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Michael Lyons scored a career-high 37 points, leading Air Force to a 91-80 victory over Boise State on Saturday.
Lyons hit 13 of 18 shots - including 3 of 5 3-pointers - and was 8 for 8 at the free-throw line for the Falcons (10-6, 2-2 Mountain West). He had been averaging 17.7 points per game this season. It was the most points scored in a game by an Air Force player since Jarmica Reese scored 40 vs. UNLV on Jan. 10, 1998.
Air Force trailed 27-20 after an 11-0 run by the Broncos thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Anthony Drmic and layups from Ryan Watkins and Igor Hadziomerovic. Lyons then scored seven points during an 8-1 run for Air Force to tie it at 28. The Falcons closed the first half on a 17-4 run to go on top 47-37 at halftime. Lyons' 25 first-half points were the most by a Falcon in any half since 2001.
"He (Lyons) is capable, not of 37 every night, but he can do this," said Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich. "At the start of conference play he was the focal point of defenses and they were coming at him. I told him to attack this week. Thursday he had that look in his eye and he was really good. He was really good yesterday in practice. He was just really on and making shots. I thought he was going to have a good game. He was really good early on and just continued it throughout the game."
Air Force extended its lead to 54-39 in the first 2:24 of the second half and the Falcons led by as many as 22 points. AFA's 91 points are the most in a conference game since defeating Hawaii, 92-83, on Jan. 18, 1996, and the third-most ever in a league contest.
Mike Fitzgerald added 17 points and a career-high eight assists for the Falcons, who host the University of New Orleans in a non-conference tilt on Wednesday. Taylor Broekhuis and Todd Fletcher each had nine points for Air Force.
Ryan Watkins had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Boise State (13-4, 1-2). Anthony Drmic added 19 points and Derrick Marks had 17.