Air Force overcame a 20-plus point deficit for the second straight game to post a victory as Air Force beat Western State, 79-67, Monday night in a non-conference game in Clune Arena at the Academy.
Western State opened the game with a 27-4 run over the first 9:26 of the game to take a 23-point lead. The Mountaineers hit 9-13 field goals while Air Force hit just two of its first 11 field goals and had seven turnovers during the span.
The Falcons closed the half out-scoring Western State, 29-19, to cut the lead to 46-33 at the half. Air Force opened the second half with a 21-7 run to take its first lead, 54-53, with 10:52 to play. The Falcons later used a 13-4 spurt to take control of the game for good and take its biggest lead, 72-63, with 3:34 remaining. Lavelle Scottie scored six points to key the run.
Air Force shot a season-high 55.6 percent from the field, including a 63.0 clip (17-27) in the second half. The Falcons assisted on 11 of 17 field goals in the second half and had 16 assists for the game. Air Force’s defensive pressure forced 19 Western State turnovers while holding the Mountaineers to just 40.9 percent shooting in the second half. Western State hit 59.3 percent in the first half.
Scottie led all scorers with a career-high 27 points. He hit 11 of 14 field goals and grabbed three rebounds and had three assists. Pervis Louder added career highs of 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a season-high 33 minutes. Sid Tomes chipped in with a season-high 11 points while Ryan Manning added 10. Ryan Swan added eight points and four rebounds.
Collin Smith scored 17 points to lead Western State. Ben Beauchamp added 15 points and Michael Hill 14. The Mountaineers hit 51 percent from the field, including 37.5 percent from three on 9-24 shooting.
Air Force overcame a 22 point deficit on Saturday at Denver, falling behind 27-5 to open the game before rallying. The Falcons have won two straight overall and improved to 5-3 overall. Air Force is 4-1 at home. Western State is 3-5 overall. The game counted as an exhibition for the Mountaineers.