Falcons Fall Short Against Northern Arizona, 60-52
Dec. 19, 2009
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) -The shots just weren't falling for Air Force at Clune Arena Saturday night. The Falcons connected on just 3-of-13 3-pointers and were 11-of-21 from the free-throw line in a 60-52 loss to Northern Arizona.
Air Force (5-4) lost its second consecutive game and has now dropped three of its last four contests.
"We couldn't get a shot to drop," Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said. "We missed some open shots and took a couple of quick, forced shots. On the other end, they really stretched us, made some threes and got some confidence. We didn't play as well as we've been playing."
The other problem for Air Force was stopping the Lumberjacks' Shane Johannsen, who led the way with 17 points and eight rebounds. After trailing 27-23 at the half, Northern Arizona (4-6, 0-2 Big Sky Conference) turned to the 6-7 junior, and he responded with 13 second-half points. Couple that with the Falcons' shooting woes, and the game turned in a hurry.
"We were 0-for-7 in the second half from 3-point range, and I only know of one that was contested," Reynolds said. "We had some good looks, but they just didn't go in."
Northern Arizona opened the second half on a 12-2 run to take the lead for good. The Lumberjacks led by as many as 13 with 3:49 remaining before the Falcons closed the gap to 54-50 with 48 seconds remaining. Northern Arizona nailed six free throws in the game's final 35 seconds to seal the win.
"They're a tough team to play when they have a lead, so you've got to get on top of them, and fortunately we were able to do that in the second half," Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras said. "In the second half, we were playing a little better up on our toes, and that translated on both ends of the court. We played aggressive defense, were more aggressive offensively and knocked down some open shots."
Reid Wallace added 11 points for the Lumberjacks off the bench, and Cameron Jones had 10.
Air Force was without starters Grant Parker, who was out with a groin injury, and Sammy Schafer, who missed his sixth consecutive game due to the lingering effects of a concussion. Without them, the Falcons shot just 38.8 percent from the field.
"We're not the only team in the country that has injuries," Reynolds said. "That's just part of college basketball. I don't think that was the reason we lost tonight, and we've just got to find a way to battle through it."
"We got in a hole and couldn't get out of it," Fow said. "It was tough trying to come back from that toward the end of the second half. We've just got to keep the energy and focus and defend for throughout all 40 minutes of the game."