Nov. 11, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Michael Lyons scored a career-high 33 points to lead Air Force to its second straight title at the All-Military Classic with a 77-70 victory over The Citadel Sunday in Charleston, S.C. Lyons, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year, scored the most points by an Air Force player in one game since current assistant coach Tyron Wright scored 36 against SMU on Feb. 18, 2000.
Lyons went 11-of-16 from the field and 7-of-12 from three-point range as the Falcons made 15 three-pointers and shot 49 percent (24-of-49) from the field. Fellow senior Kyle Green made four 3-pointers and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line en route to a career-high 18 points. Sophomore Max Yon added 10 points for Air Force (2-0).
"Michael Lyons played great for us tonight," said Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich. "It was nice to see him play that well in front of his family. We may need to see if we can make that happen more often."
Air Force jumped out to an early 8-0 lead with a couple of 3s from Green and a jumper from Lyons. The Falcons held the lead until Lawrence Miller of Citadel drained a three-pointer with 1:37 left in the half to take a 28-25 lead. Two free throws by Lyons and one from senior Taylor Broekhuis evened the score, but Ashton Moore hit a jumper at the buzzer to give Citadel a 30-28 halftime advantage.
The Bulldogs took their biggest lead at 35-30 with 18:22 remaining in the game on a Miller jumper, but Air Force raced to a 19-5 run over the next 5:24 to hit its biggest lead at 49-40. The run was capped by an 11-0 streak sparked by five points from Lyons and four from Green. Citadel cut the lead to two a couple of times the rest of the way thanks to 10 points from Mike Groselle in the final 12 minutes but Air Force never trailed again and made all six of its free throws in the final 32 seconds.
"Our senior class was unbelievable today," said Pilipovich. "Kyle Green is a tough kid who can make shots and we saw that tonight. Todd Fletcher took control of their press all game and Mike Fitzgerald hit a couple of huge three-pointers to keep us in the lead. Also, Broekhuis battled Groselle all game in the paint."
Miller led the Bulldogs with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from three-point range and Groselle added 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
The Falcons play their home opener this Thursday, Nov. 15 against Western State College beginning at 7 p.m.