Falcons Host Colorado State in Regular Season Finale
March 2, 2012
GAME #28Air Force Falcons vs. Colorado State RamsSaturday, March 3, 20122 p.m. at Clune Arena (The Mtn.) SITELocation USAFA, Colo.Arena Clune ArenaCapacity 5,858 RADIONetwork Air Force / IMG Sports NetworkStation AM 740 KVOR, Colo. Spgs.Play-by-Play Jim ArthurAnalyst Matt Pauley TELEVISIONNetwork The Mtn.Play-by-Play Rich CelliniAnalyst Andrea Lloyd INTERNETLive Stats goairforcefalcons.com COACHESDave Pilipovich (Thiel College, 1986)Air Force 2-4, First Season as Head CoachOverall Same Tim Miles (Mary College, 1989)Colorado State 69-86, Fifth SeasonOverall 281-218, 17th Season ALL-TIME SERIESOverall Colorado State leads 67-31At USAFA Colorado State leads 30-21First Game Jan. 19, 1957Result Air Force won 70-62Last Game Feb. 4, 2012Result Colorado State won 67-49Current Streak Colorado State - 1 Falcons Host Colorado State in Regular Season FinaleThe Air Force Falcons close out the 2011-12 regular season by hosting the Colorado State Rams on Saturday, March 3 at Clune Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast locally on AM 740 KVOR and televised nationally on The Mtn. The Falcons are 13-14 and 3-10 in league play after losing to New Mexico, 86-56, on Wednesday in Albuquerque, N.M., while Colorado State is 18-10 and 7-6 after defeating 17th-ranked UNLV 66-59 Wednesday in Fort Collins. Senior Day on SaturdaySaturday’s game against Colorado State will be the final game at Clune Arena for Air Force’s three seniors, Taylor Stewart, Shawn Hempsey and Scott Stucky. The trio will be honored in a post-game ceremony. Air Force Loses at New MexicoDrew Gordon scored 12 of New Mexico’s first 18 points and Hugh Greenwood opened the second half with 14 straight points as the Lobos defeated Air Force 86-56 on Wednesday night. Greenwood finished with a game- and career-high 22 points with six rebounds, while Taylor Broekhuis led Air Force with 11 points. Dave Pilipovich Wins First Career Game as Head CoachDave Pilipovich won his first game as a collegiate head coach on Feb. 15 when Air Force defeated Wyoming 58-53 in Laramie, Wyo. Pilipovich became the eighth head coach in the history of the Air Force men’s basketball program on Feb. 8, 2012. Pilipovich was in his fifth season as a member of the coaching staff and first as associate head coach when he was promoted to head coach after Jeff Reynolds was relieved of his duties.Pilipovich, who spent the previous 25 years as a collegiate assistant coach, helped Air Force to a 16-14 record in his first season as an assistant (2007-08) and was instrumental in the Falcons making the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last year, the team’s first postseason appearance since 2007. Air Force Wins First-Ever Against a Top 20 TeamMichael Lyons scored 27 points and had four steals to lead Air Force to a 58-56 upset of No. 13 San Diego State on Feb. 18, the Falcons’ first win over a top 20 team in program history. The Aztecs had a chance to steal the win but Xavier Thames’ 3-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer, sending San Diego State to its third straight loss. The Falcons improved 1-64 against top-20 teams and 2-74 against ranked opponents. The only other time they beat a ranked team was Feb. 15, 1992, against No. 21 UTEP. Up NextThe Falcons will travel to Las Vegas to play in the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Championships, beginning on Thursday, March 8. Falcons Will Finish Either 7th or 8thAir Force will finish either seventh or eighth in the Mountain West this season. The only way the Falcons finish eighth is with a loss to Colorado State and a Boise State victory at New Mexico on Saturday. All other possibilities will give Air Force the seventh seed at next week’s Mountain West Championships. All But One of AFA’s Losses to Teams With a Winning RecordThe 11 teams that have beaten the Falcons this season have a combined record of 221-98 (.693 winning percentage) this season and 10 of the 11 currently have a winning record. Six of the teams, Wagner, Gonzaga, New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State and Wyoming have at least 20 wins this season. Third-Fewest Points Ever in a VictoryAir Force’s 42 points against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 30 were the third-fewest in a victory in school history and the fewest since a 39-36 win over Cornell on Dec. 29, 1981. The school record for fewest points in a victory is a 30-19 win over Regis on Dec. 12, 1978. AFA Overcomes Largest Deficit Of Season at WyomingAir Force’s rally from a 14-point deficit against Wyoming on Feb. 15 was the largest this season and the largest since overcoming an 18-point deficit against Sam Houston State (W, 76-65) on Dec. 28, 2010.It was also the largest deficit Air Force has overcome against a Mountain West opponent since Jan. 9, 2007, when Air Force rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit to beat New Mexico, 65-57, at Clune Arena. Fletcher Tied For 13th on Career Assist ListWith his two assists against Texas-Pan American on Jan. 9, junior Todd Fletcher became the 22nd player in school history to dish out 200 career assists. The school began keeping assists as a season total in 1972. He his currently tied for 13th with A.J. Kuhle (2004) and Tim Anderson (2008) on the school’s career list with 241 assists. Lyons Returns to Conference Stat LeadersAfter playing against San Diego State on Jan. 18, junior Michael Lyons has now played in 75 percent of Air Force’s games this season, once again making him eligible for the Mountain West statistical charts. Lyons is currently No. 3 in scoring in the league (15.4 ppg), No. 5 in field-goal percentage (45.9%) and No. 8 in 3-pointers made per game (1.81) for all games.In conference games only, he is second in scoring (14.8 ppg), third in 3-point percentage (40.6%) and sixth in field-goal percentage (43.2%). Carter Ties School Record for Steals in First Career GameFive freshmen saw action for Air Force during the opening weekend, but none had a better start than Chris Carter. The 6-3 guard from Port St. Lucie, Fla., had nine points, seven rebounds and seven steals in his first career game against Army. His seven steals tied the school record for one game and were the most by a Falcon since Tim Anderson, the 2007-08 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, had seven against San Diego State at the Mountain West Tournament on March 13, 2008. Lyons in Search of 1,000 PointsJunior Michael Lyons is on track to become the 23rd player in Air Force history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Lyons, who has appeared in 83 career games, has 962 career points and is 26th on the school’s career scoring list. The last Falcon to join the 1,000-point club was Matt McCraw in 2007. The last junior to join the club was Otis Jones in 1994. Fitzgerald No. 9 on AFA’s Career 3-Point Percentage ListJunior Mike Fitzgerald attempted his 150th career 3-pointer on Jan. 3 against Johnson & Wales, making him eligible for Air Force’s career list for three-point percentage. Fitzgerald is shooting 38.8 percent (78-for-201) for his career, placing him No. 9 on the list. Falcons 33rd in the Nation in Scoring DefenseAir Force is ranked 33rd in the nation (338 teams ranked) in scoring defense according to the national Division I statistical summary released by the NCAA on Friday, March 2. The Falcons are allowing just 60.9 points per game. 60 Points Seems to be the KeyAir Force is 9-7 this season when it scores 60 points or more and 4-7 when scoring less than 60. The four wins are against Wright St. (55-34), Eastern Michigan (42-37), Wyoming (58-53) and SDSU (58-56).Defensively speaking, the Falcons are 10-2 when allowing less than 60 points and 3-12 when allowing 60 or more. Still a Great Record at CluneIncluding their 10-6 record this season, the Falcons have been hard to beat at Clune Arena the last eight seasons. Since the beginning of the 2003-04 season, Air Force has won 105 of its 141 home games, good for a .745 winning percentage. In addition, the Falcons have won 41 of their 70 Mountain West games at Clune during that same stretch (.586 pct). No Offensive Boards, Not a ProblemAir Force had zero offensive rebounds against Wyoming on Feb. 15, the first time that has happened since Feb. 15, 2003. Interestingly, Air Force won that game as well, 80-75 over Colorado State. In fact, Air Force had just three offensive boards the next game against San Diego State and had zero second chance points combined in those two games.