Air Force opened 2017-18 with a 65-57 victory over Texas State Sunday afternoon in the opening game of the Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase in Clune Arena.
Senior Trevor Lyons and junior Pervis Louder paced the Falcons with 13 points each. The backcourt mates combined for 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting, hit all three 3-pointers attempted and combined for 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Lyons had 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 31 minutes while Louder added a career-high 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 31 minutes.
Air Force took control of the game in the final minutes of the first half. Texas State took a 22-21 lead with 4:12 left before Air Force closed the half on a 12-2 spurt to take a 33-24 halftime lead. Ryan Swan scored five points to key the run while Dane Norman added four points and his tip in to start the run gave the Falcons the lead for good.
The Falcons pushed the lead to double digits early in the second half and maintained the cushion until the final minutes. The Falcons led by as many as 17 points, 65-48, before Texas State closed the game with nine straight points over the last 3:16 to make up the final margin.
Air Force led for 35:24 of the game and had 11 players see action. The Falcons shot just 41.7 percent from the field, including a 40.0 clip (8-20) from 3-point territory, but forced 20 turnovers and had 11 steals. Air Force assisted on 16 of 25 field goals.
Swan added career highs of seven points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and 26 minutes in the backup center position. Ryan Manning added seven points and three rebounds while CJ Siples chipped in with seven points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist. Lavelle Scottie added five points, three rebounds and career highs of three assists and two steals. Norman added four points and three rebounds.
Texas State was led by Nijal Pearson, who scored 13 points and had six rebounds. Texas State hit 45.5 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from 3-point distance while out-rebounding Air Force, 33-30.
The Falcons continue play in the Showcase on Tuesday by hosting Canisius at 5 p.m. The Falcons round out play in the four-game event by hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff Nov. 20 and Pacific Nov. 21 both starting at 7 p.m.