Nov. 4, 2012
Mike Fitzgerald led four Air Force players in double figures with a game-high 18 points as the Falcons defeated Colorado Christian, 64-53, in an exhibition game Sunday at Clune Arena. Fitzgerald, who scored 13 of his points in the second half, was 7-of-10 from the field and 4-5 from the free throw line.
Fitzgerald scored six straight points with two layups and two free throws after CCU tied the game at 49-all on a three-pointer by Kyle Weaver with 7:37 remaining. A layup by freshman Cameron Michael and two free throws by senior Taylor Broekhuis capped a 10-0 run over a span of 4:24 to give the Falcons a 59-49 lead. Michael's layup at the 4:53 mark were the first bench points for Air Force and he was the only non-starter to score for the Falcons, finishing with five points.
"Mike (Fitzgerald) gave us great effort and energy during that stretch," said Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich. "He really helped us take the lead and then sustain it the rest of the way."
CCU's Michael Brown halted Air Force's run with a layup at the 2:55 mark but the damage had been done as the Falcons outscored the Cougars 15-4 in the final 7:37. Brown led CCU with 17 points, followed by Weaver and Michael Stamer with 10 apiece.
Seniors Todd Fletcher, Michael Lyons and Kyle Green were the other three Falcons to post double figures, scoring 13, 12 and 10, respectively. Fletcher (11 in the first half) and Lyons (10) helped the Falcons gain a 33-29 halftime lead after the Cougars jumped out to an early 12-6 advantage. Lyons scored half of Air Force's points during a 10-0 run to put the Falcons ahead 16-12 and AFA never trailed again.
Broekhuis and Lyons led the Falcons with seven rebounds apiece, while Lyons had a game-high five steals and Broekhuis and Green each had a team-high four assists. The Falcons shot an impressive 58.8 percent (10-17) from the floor in the second half and finished the game shooting 47.8 percent (22-46).
"This was a great opportunity for us to play with officials and fans in the stands," said Pilipovich. "This is why we play exhibitions. We played a very well-coached team today that really challenged us on the defensive end."
Air Force opens the 2012-13 season at the second annual All-Military Classic next weekend in Charleston, S.C. The Falcons will face service-academy rival Army in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. (ET).