Air Force Rolls Over Colorado, Goes To 4-0
Nov. 18, 2006
"Defense is the strength, and that's what we showed tonight," Anderson said. "We locked onto our defense and they couldn't get their shots."
Anderson scored a career-high 24 points and Air Force held Colorado to 11 points in the first half in an 84-46 victory over the Buffaloes on Saturday night.
Nick Welch added 18 points for Air Force (4-0), which last started out with four straight wins in the 1998-99 season, when it began 5-0. The Falcons hit 13-of-25 3-pointers, four by Anderson in their most lopsided win since beating Navy 86-46 on Nov. 28, 2003.
CU leading scorer Richard Roby was held to six points on 3-for-14 shooting.
"Another key was knowing what Richard Roby means to that team and making a conscious effort to know where he was on the court," Welch said. "Take him out of the game and it kind of snowballed from there."
Jermyl Jackson-Wilson led Colorado (1-2) with nine points.
"It's about taking care of the basketball, doing it hard and right all the time on offense and defense," Air Force coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "Just desperate energy to know personnel and be rock solid with our defensive principles."
Nothing was more evident of that than the first half. The first half output of 11 was Colorado's lowest scoring half since being held to four points in the first half of a Jan. 23, 1980, game at Missouri.
"They went into that matchup zone and slowed us down," Colorado coach Ricardo Patton said. "What we didn't want to do was rely on outside shooting against it, but that's what we did."
Colorado took a 4-0 lead early, but trailed 35-11 at halftime thanks to a scoring drought that lasted nearly 12 minutes and a patient Air Force team that shot 52 percent and had 11 points from Welch.
After a basket by Marcus Stockton-King, the Buffaloes missed 11 straight shots and turned the ball over five times while Dan Nwaelele buried three, 3-pointers as part of a 22-0 run that ended with Matt McGraw following his own miss to push Air Force ahead 22-4.
"It was a matter of staying within who we are," Bzdelik said of the 22-0 run. "We need to cherish every possession on the offensive and play with a desperate energy throughout the course of the game."
Jackson-Wilson ended the scoreless string with a basket at 6:49 that drew a roar from the crowd. Colorado, which shot 23 percent for the half, managed only seven points the rest of the period, two by Roby, who was 1-for-8 shooting.
Things didn't get much better in the second half for Colorado. The Buffaloes improved their shooting to 42 percent, but fell behind 47-17 after a 3-pointer from Welch and a layup and free throw from Keith Henke.
Anderson heated up with four 3-pointers and 17 points over the next seven minutes to give Air Force a 75-32 lead. The Falcons started pulling its starters for the last 5:30.
"It was just another tough lesson," Patton said.