Dec. 05, 2013
Max Yon led five Air Force players in double figures with a career-high 24 points as the Falcons rallied from a 13-point first half deficit to defeat South Dakota, 94-86, Thursday night at Clune Arena.
Yon, who also had three rebounds and a team-high five assists, scored 14 of his points in the second half, when the Falcons scored 62 points and did not commit a turnover. The 62 points were the most by an Air Force team in one half since scoring 65 vs. Denver on Feb. 16, 1999.
Freshman Hayden Graham also helped AFA’s cause in the second half, scoring all 10 of his career-high points in the final 20 minutes, including one of his three 3-pointers with 9:57 remaining to give the Falcons a 65-63 lead. The game was tied five times but Air Force (4-4) never trailed the rest of the way and made 7-of 8 free throws in the final 56 seconds, including 6-of-6 by sophomore Tre' Coggins.
South Dakota shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and took a 37-24 lead on a 3-pointer by Casey Kasperbauer with 3:13 left before halftime. A three-pointer by Yon and another by Marek Olesinski (19 points and eight rebounds) helped cut the Coyote lead to 40-32 at the break.
Kasperbauer tried his best to help USD pull away in the second half by scoring 14 straight points, including four 3-pointers, for the Coyotes, but the Falcons kept pace and cut the lead from six to three during that span. Kasperbauer had a team-high 20 points for USD while Trey Norris added 15. Brandon Bos scored 13 points and dished out a game-high six assists.
Justin Hammonds added 13 points and Coggins had 12 for Air Force, which shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the field in the second half and 54.2 percent (26-of-48) for the game. The Falcons also committed a season-low seven turnovers and went 31-of-39 from the free-throw line, the most makes and attempts in one game since going 41-pof-56 against Navy on Nov. 28, 1998.
The Falcons host Western State on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.