Falcons Fall Short in Overtime, 76-73
Nov. 23, 2011
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Askia Booker hit a 3-pointer and Andre Roberson got a key block and layup in overtime to help Colorado to a 76-73 victory over Air Force at Clune Arena on Wednesday night.
"I do what I can to win,'' Roberson said. "I will get rebound when it is needed.''
Nate Tomlinson led Colorado (3-2) with 19 points on 4 of 7 shooting from 3-point range. Carlon Brown added 16 points, and Roberson had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Roberson went scoreless in the first half, missing his only shot. He did have eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Colorado's win couldn't overshadow the brilliant game of Michael Lyons of the Falcons. Lyons made 10 of 19 shots and clutch free throws at the end of regulation to finish with a career-high 31 points for Air Force (3-1).
It was the most points by a Falcon player since Jarvis Croff scored 31 on March 9, 2000 against Utah.
"It didn't matter,'' Lyons said. "I would have been happy with a couple of points and a win.''
The Falcons' scrambling defense forced 18 turnovers, turning the mistakes into 27 points.
"We had some mental breakdowns defensively tonight that we can't have if we want to win these types of games,'' said Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds. "We didn't contest two open threes and then we did late in the game and they got the offensive put back.''
Air Force was the better team taking care of the ball, committing a season-low six turnovers.
The Falcons led 72-69 in overtime after a layup by Taylor Stewart and Mike Fitzgerald's 3-pointer. The Buffaloes then got Roberson's layup off a rebound and went ahead 74-72 on Booker's 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.
After Todd Fletcher made a free throw for Air Force, Roberson sealed the game with a basket. Fletcher missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
"Air Force is a tough team to defend,'' Boyle said. "They get either get layups or threes against you.''
Colorado almost won the game in regulation after Roberson tipped in his own miss with 13 seconds remaining to make it 67-65. But Fitzgerald sank two free throws with 3.7 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
The Buffaloes began the second half by making only 1 of 9 shots. Shane Harris-Tunks put Colorado up 39-36 with a jumper before Air Force went on a 10-0 run, with six of the points coming from Lyons, who had two acrobatic layups.
Lyons gave the Falcons a 56-50 advantage with a 3-pointer, but Brown scored eight points in a two-minute span to put Colorado up 62-60.