Falcons Fall to Huskies in BCA Championship
SEATTLE (AP) - Senior guard Brandon Roy picked Washington's first tight game of the season to seize control of his young Husky pups.
Roy scored 27 points, had seven rebounds and led a decisive 21-7 run to begin the second half as the Huskies survived a stern challenge from upstart Air Force to win 85-74 Tuesday night in the championship game of the Black Coaches Association Classic.
Acclaimed freshman Jon Brockman commanded the baseline to score 21 points for Washington (3-0), which had its first test after 67 and 33-point victories in the first two games of the season. Brockman capped his splashy, three-day collegiate debut by earning the tournament's most valuable player award.
Junior guard Matt McCraw had 17 points for the Falcons (2-1), one short of his career high. But he didn't score over the final 5:20, when he had to play with four fouls. Washington pushed away from a 70-65 game in that span.
Jacob Burtschi led his team with a career-high 20 points and Antoine Hood, Monday's hero with 22 points, had 15. Hood was named to the BCA all-tournament team for the second consecutive year.
Air Force was picked by Rocky Mountain-region media to finish fourth in the Mountain West Conference after returning three starters from last season's 18-12 team. That assessment may now need amending.
One night after beating Miami for their first win ever over an Atlantic Coast Conference team, the Falcons stunned last season's Pac-10 Conference tournament champions by taking a 41-32 lead late in the first half. Air Force, behind Burtschi's 13 points, took a 46-40 lead into halftime. The Falcons continually beat the Huskies with backdoor cuts to the basket and controlled Washington's backcourt, pressure defense - at least until the second half.
The 46 points were more than the Falcons had scored in the opening half in any of their 30 games last season. In fact, they were more than any first half since scoring 47 against Belmont on Dec. 11, 2002.
Ultimately, though, Washington - specifically Roy - prevailed.
The replacement for Nate Robinson as team leader had six points, four rebounds, a block and a steal in the first 7:02 of the second half, when Washington roared back with a 21-7 spurt to take a 61-53 lead. Reserve guard Joel Smith added three consecutive baskets in the decisive run. His third was off a pump fake to put Washington in control, 65-56, with 11:11 to play.
The Huskies made 9 of 13 shots overall in that key span. Their pressure defense also finally forced Air Force into five turnovers during that time, after the Falcons had only eight in the entire first half.