Air Force Shoots Down Arkansas-Pine Bluff 63-52
Dec. 18, 2010
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Air Force basketball coach Jeff Reynolds had several words to describe his team's 63-52 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff Saturday night, and most of them were critical of his team's execution.
"Sloppy, rusty, lethargic ... not focused," Reynolds said. "I thought we had some good spurts, but we played like we'd been in exam week. We didn't play with any focus or intensity and let them back in. We picked it up a little bit, but never really got in the flow offensively."
Despite all that, Michael Lyons scored a season-high 24 points to lead the Falcons (7-2) to their sixth win in seven games heading into a three-game road trip.
The Falcons shot 47.9 percent from the field and forced 16 turnovers from the Golden Lions (0-10), a 2010 NCAA Tournament qualifier. Arkansas-Pine Bluff fell to 0-4 all-time against Air Force.
"I just got to the line a lot and got a lot of layups and easy shots," Lyons said. "We just didn't sustain our energy the whole game and let them back in. When we switched to man-to-man is when we buckled down, went on the run and ended up winning."
Air Force scored the first two baskets of the second half to take a 30-16 lead, but Arkansas-Pine Bluff used six 3-pointers to go on a 20-6 run and tie the game at 36-36 with 14:22 remaining.
"If you give any basketball team open shots, they're going to make them," said Air Force senior Derek Brooks, who had 11 points off the bench. "We got spread out and weren't rotating as well as we should have, and that's how they were getting the open threes."
The Falcons responded with a 14-4 run to break the tie and never looked back.
"As a team, we knew we had to step it up," Brooks said. "We had to lock down and stop them from making the threes, and I think we did a good job of doing that."
Allen Smith - who hit all six of his 3-pointers in the second half - led Arkansas-Pine Bluff with 20 points, and Gavin Montgomery and Savalace Townsend each added 12. The Golden Lions hit 11 of 18 3-pointers in the second half after going 3 for 11 in the first 20 minutes.
Taylor Broekhuis also chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds for the Falcons and has scored in double figures in eight of nine games this season.
Air Force outscored Arkansas-Pine Bluff 28-4 in the paint and scored 20 points off Golden Lions turnovers. The Falcons also won the rebounding battle 33-30 and had 15 assists in the win.
The Falcons held the Golden Lions to 27.3 percent shooting in the first half and took at 26-16 lead into the locker room.