Nov. 25, 2002
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Date: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 7:05 p.m. MST
Site: Clune Arena (6,002), USAFA, Colo.
Radio: KVOR AM 740 in Colorado Springs
Notes: Air Force lost its season opener at Louisville, 65-47, on Nov. 23. Stetson fell to Colorado, 107-74, in its first game of the season on Nov. 24.
Records: Each team is 0-1 this season.
Coaches: Air Force is coached by Joe Scott (Princeton, 1987), who is in his third season with the Falcons. He has a 17-41 record in his two-plus years at Air Force. Scott came to AFA from his alma mater, Princeton, where he was an assistant coach from 1993-2000.
Stetson is coached by Derek Waugh (Furman, 1993), who is in his third season at the school. Waugh guided the Hatters to a 10-16 record last season. He has a 23-25 career record in his two seasons at Stetson.
Series: The series is tied 1-1. Stetson won the first meeting, 67-62, on Feb. 10, 1979 in DeLand, Fla. Air Force evened the series the next season, defeating the Hatters, 58-57, on Jan. 24, 1980 at Clune Arena.
Stetson is 0-1 after losing at the University of Colorado, 107-74, in its season opener on Nov. 24. E.J. Gordon led the Hatters with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor. Alexis McMillan added 14 points and a team-high four rebounds. Point guard Ravii Givens served a one-game suspension but is expected to play against the Falcons.
The Hatters were 10-16 a year ago. They finished ninth in the Atlantic Sun Conference, just missing the post-season tournament. Givens led the team in scoring, assists and minutes played, averaging 13 points, 3.8 assists and 35 minutes per game. McMillan averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 assists per game last year, and led the Atlantic Sun in steals, averaging 2.65 per contest. Derek DeWitt scored 10 points per game in 2001-02 and led the squad with 46 three-pointers made.
Eight Tourney Teams on Schedule
Eight of Air Force's 20 opponents this season received a bid to either the NCAA or NIT Tournament last year. Three Mountain West Conference teams made the NCAA field of 65, while three others played in the NIT. Here is a breakdown of this year's opponents in the 2001-02 tournaments.
NCAA - Wyoming, Utah, San Diego State
NIT - Louisville, Tennessee Tech, UNLV, New Mexico, BYU
Louisville 65, Air Force 47
Nov. 23, 2002 at Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY
Reece Gaines scored 22 points and Ellis Myles pulled down 16 rebounds to lead Louisville to a 65-47 win over Air Force on Saturday night.
Luke Whitehead added 17 points for the Cardinals (1-0), who forced 17 turnovers and outrebounded the undersized Falcons 39-20.
Joel Gerlach scored 15, but was the only player in double figures for Air Force (0-1).
The Cardinals were out of synch early, committing four turnovers in the first five minutes. They led only 13-11 when freshman Francisco Garcia sank a 3-pointer at the 9-minute mark of the first half to start a 10-0 run.
Louisville pushed the lead to 14 as Air Force went without a field goal for the last four minutes before halftime.
Gaines, who averaged 21 points last season, got two early fouls and sat out most of the first half. Garcia and Whitehead picked up the scoring slack, combining for 16 of Louisville's 31 first-half points. Garcia finished with 7 points.
Gaines returned at the start of the second half and hit a pull-up jumper to start a 7-0 Louisville spurt. The Falcons missed their first four shots of the second half and fell behind by as many as 18.
Notes from Louisville Game
-- Sophomore Tim Keller played a career-high 38 minutes
-- Backup center David Peterson tied a career-
high with three assists
-- Sophomore forward Marc Holum tied his
career-high with two rebounds
-- The attendance of 19,741 was the largest
crowd Air Force has played in front of since Feb. 24,
1994 at New Mexico, which drew 19,946 fans
After its loss to Louisville, Air Force is now 17-30 all-time in season openers. The Falcons are 13-8 at home and 4-22 on the road. The loss to Louisville broke a streak of two consecutive season-opening victories. AFA beat Houston, 59-53, in 2000-01 and defeated Yale, 68-62, last season.
Air Force has now made a 3-point shot in 298 consecutive games. The last time the Falcons failed to make a three-pointer was Dec. 4, 1991 in a 57-51 victory over Adams State College.
Bellairs Reaches Milestone
Tom Bellairs became the 12th player in school history with 500 points and 500 rebounds in a career last season. He has 757 career points and 580 rebounds. Bellairs is 33rd on the school's career scoring list and seventh in career rebounds. Bellairs posted the 11th and 12th double-doubles of his career during the 2001-02 campaign. He leads all returning Falcons in career points and rebounds.
Big Monday Matchup
For the first time since Feb. 1, 1992, Air Force will host a nationally televised game when ESPN shows the AFA-Wyoming game on Monday, Feb. 17 as part of its "Big Monday" tripleheader. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:00 p.m.
The Falcons have three other games on television this season, two on SportsWest (March 1 vs. BYU and March 8 vs. New Mexico) and one on ESPN-Plus (Feb. 15 vs. Colorado State).
Three Falcons earned honorable mention All-MWC honors
Lamoni Yazzie, Tom Bellairs and Joel Gerlach were honorable mention All-MWC selections in 2001-02.
First-Team All-Mountain West
Marcus Bailey, Wyoming
Ruben Douglas, New Mexico
Randy Holcomb, San Diego State
Britton Johnsen, Utah
Dalron Johnson, UNLV
Second-Team All-Mountain West
Marcus Banks, UNLV
Al Faux, San Diego State
Brian Greene, Colorado State
Travis Hansen, BYU
Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, Wyoming
Third-Team All-Mountain West
Eric Chatfield, New Mexico
Josh Davis, Wyoming
Nick Jacobson, Utah
Jeff Johnsen, Utah
Donta Richardson, Wyoming
Honorable Mention: Air Force - Lamoni Yazzie, Tom Bellairs, Joel Gerlach; BYU - Mark Bigelow, Matt Montague, Eric Nielsen; Colorado State - Andy Birley; New Mexico - Patrick Dennehy; San Diego State - Tony Bland; UNLV - Lou Kelly; Utah - Travis Spivey
Player of the Year - Britton Johnsen, Utah
Freshmen of the Year - Jason Straight, Wyoming / Jared Jensen, BYU
Defensive Player of the Year - Marcus Banks, UNLV
Coach of the Year - Steve McClain, Wyoming
Jenkins Climbing Career Lists
Senior guard Vernard Jenkins moved into the No. 6 spot on the school's all-time assist list last season. With one assist against Louisville, Jenkins has 269 career assists.
Jenkins is also No. 5 on the school's list for career steals. He has 120 in his career.
Kuhle on a Hot Streak
Junior A.J. Kuhle has made a three-point shot in 16 consecutive game. He made a trey in each of Air Force's final 15 games last season, tying the longest streak for any Falcon during the 2001-02 campaign. Lamoni Yazzie made a three-pointer in each of the first 15 games last season.
Air Force was 6-12 in games decided by eight points or less last season.
Entering conference play, the Falcons were 5-1 in that category, but 11 of their last 12 losses were by eight points or less. In fact, five of those losses were by three points or less.
The 47-44 victory over New Mexico on Feb. 4 was the only win decided by eight points or less after a 57-56 win over Northern Arizona on Jan. 2.
Nine of the team's 11 MWC losses were by eight points or less. Four of the games were by three points or less and five others were by eight points or less, including OT losses to Wyoming (4) and Utah.
The Falcons' two closest defeats of the season were in the final two games, a pair of two-point decisions to San Diego State and Wyoming.
For the First Time ...
-- With its victories over Liberty (12/22) and Northern Arizona (1/2), Air Force won consecutive road games for the first time since Jan. 24 & 26, 1989, against BYU and Utah, respectively.
-- The victory over Northern Arizona (1/2) was the first on the road against a team with a winning record since AFA beat Navy, 64-63, in Annapolis on Nov. 30, 1997. Navy was 2-1 entering that game.
-- For the first time in school history, Air Force played a quadruple overtime game. The Falcons fell to Wyoming, 83-76, on Jan. 28. The game was tied at 52 at the end of regulation.
-- The Falcons won four games away from Clune Arena for the first time since the 1989-90 campaign. Two of the wins in '89-90 came against San Diego State and Colorado State at the WAC Tournament.
-- Air Force posted six non-conference Division I wins for the first time since starting conference play in 1980. AFA won five Division I games outside of league play in 2000-01, as well as in 1997-98 and '98-99.
-- Air Force won nine Division I games in one season for the first time since the 1989-90 campaign. The Falcons won a school-record 10 games against Division I opponents that season.
Enjoying the Extra Time?
Air Force played in a school-record five overtime games last season, posting a 1-4 record. In fact, three of the Falcons' overtime games came in a span of six games, including a quadruple-overtime affair against Wyoming, the longest game in the history of the program and the Mountain West Conference.
Air Force played in three overtime games in 1981-82, 1984-85 and 1995-96.