Falcons Open Play at Cable Car Classic on Thursday Against Wagner
Dec. 27, 2011
GAME #10Air Force Falcons vs. Wagner SeahawksThursday, Dec. 29, 20116 p.m. (PT) at Santa Clara, CAFirst Round - Cable Car Classic Game Notes SITELocation Santa Clara, CAArena Leavey CenterCapacity 4,700 RADIONetwork Air Force / IMG Sports NetworkFlagship AM 740 KVOR, Colo. Spgs.Play-by-Play Jim ArthurAnalyst Matt Pauley TELEVISIONNone INTERNETLive Stats goairforcefalcons.com COACHESJeff Reynolds (UNC-Greensboro, 1978)Air Force 58-75, Fifth SeasonOverall 140-109, Ninth Season Dan Hurley (Seton Hall, 1996)Wagner 21-20, Second SeasonOverall Same ALL-TIME SERIESOverall Air Force leads 1-0Neutral Site Air Force leads 1-0First Game Nov. 26, 1983Result Air Force won 70-58 Falcons Open Play at Cable Car Classic on ThursdayThe Air Force Falcons travel to Santa Clara, Calif., for the 2011 Cable Car Classic, hosted by Santa Clara University. The Falcons will face the Wagner Seahawks in the first round on Thursday, Dec. 29. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast locally on AM 740 KVOR. The Falcons are 6-3 after falling to Gonzaga, 70-60, in Spokane, Wash., last Thursday, while Wagner is 8-3 after an impressive 59-54 victory over 15th-ranked Pittsburgh last Friday at Pitt. 2011 Cable Car Classic Schedule (all times Pacific) Thursday, Dec. 29Air Force vs. Wagner 6 p.m.Santa Clara vs. Eastern Michigan 8:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30Third-Place Game 6 p.m.Championship Game 8:15 p.m. Air Force Drops 10-Point Decision to GonzagaAir Force had its three-game winning streak snapped last Thursday night with a 70-60 loss at Gonzaga. The teams were tied at 46-all with 10 minutes remaining, but Gonzaga pulled away late for its ninth win of the season. Todd Fletcher scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down a team-high five rebounds for the Falcons. Mike Fitzgerald added 14 and Taylor Stewart scored 12 and dished out a game-high five assists. Up NextThe Falcons return home to open 2012 with three consecutive games at Clune Arena, beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 3 against Johnson & Wales at 7 p.m. Cable Car Classic HistoryThis is Air Force’s second appearance in the Cable Car Classic. The Falcons won the tournament in 2006, defeating George Washington, 66-52, in the first round and Santa Clara, 78-48, in the title game. Air Force still holds the tournament record with 16 three-pointers made in the championship game that year. Former Falcon Jacob Burtschi was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Falcons Win Inaugural All-Military ClassicAir Force opened its 2011-12 season Nov. 11-12 with a pair of victories at the First Annual All-Military Classic. The Falcons used a second-half rally to defeat service-academy rival Army, 87-71, in the first round, then downed VMI, 75-65, in the championship game.Junior guard Michael Lyons was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after averaging 22 points and eight rebounds, while fellow junior Todd Fletcher was named to the all-tournament team after dishing out a career-high seven assists in each game.This was the first of a four-year contract for the All-Military Classic, with each school hosting once. Citadel will host in 2012, VMI in ‘13 and Army in ‘14. The tournament will be played each year during Veteran’s Day weekend. Mountain West / Missouri Valley ChallengeThe 2011-12 edition of the MWC/MVC Challenge was the third in a four-year agreement between the Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conferences. Eight Challenge games were played this year, with each conference winning four games. Illinois State and Southern Illinois were the two Valley teams that did not participate in the 2011-12 Challenge Series. Below are the 2011-12 MW/MVC Challenge results: Date -- ResultNov. 30 -- Creighton 85, San Diego State 83Dec. 3 -- Drake 62, Air Force 60Dec. 3 -- Boise State 74, Indiana State 65Dec. 3 -- Northern Iowa 83, Colorado State 77Dec. 3 -- New Mexico 76, Missouri State 60Dec. 3 -- TCU 70, Evansville 68 (ot)Dec. 3 -- Wyoming 66, Bradley 49Dec. 4 -- Wichita State 89, UNLV 70 Still a Great Record at CluneIncluding their 6-1 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 101 of its 132 home games, good for a .765 winning percentage. In addition, the Falcons have won 40 of their 64 Mountain West games at Clune during that same stretch (.625 pct). Falcons Picked 5th in MWCAir Force was picked fifth in the 2011-12 preseason media poll released at the Mountain West media day in Denver, Colo. School (First Place Votes) -- Pts.1. New Mexico (22) -- 2032. UNLV (4) -- 1833. San Diego State -- 1584. Colorado State -- 1195. Air Force -- 786. Wyoming -- 687. TCU -- 648. Boise State -- 63 Broekhuis Picks Up First Career Double-DoubleJunior Taylor Broekhuis played arguably the best game of his career in the championship game of the All-Military Classic on Nov. 12 against VMI. The 6-10 center from Colorado Springs scored 18 points, one shy of his career high, and pulled down a career-best 12 rebounds to post the first double-double of his career. His 12 rebounds were the most by a Falcon in one game since Jacob Burtschi hauled down 12 at Stanford on Nov. 15, 2006.Broekhuis, who scored a career-high 20 points on Dec. 17 against Maryland-Eastern Shore, is ranked sixth in the Mountain West in rebounding at 6.0 per game. Most Assists in Over a DecadeAir Force recorded 25 assists in the season-opener against Army, the most in one game by an AFA team since dishing out 25 against Long Beach State on Nov. 21, 2000. The Falcons added 20 assists the next day against VMI and have an assist on 98 of their 141 field goals this season.Individually, junior Todd Fletcher had a career-high seven assists in each of his first two games and is ranked No. 6 in the Mountain West averaging 3.78 per game. 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. Falcons Playing Solid "D" This SeasonAir Force’s defense has been very strong lately. After allowing an average of 62.3 points per game their first four games, the Falcons have allowed just 55.4 points per game their last five. Opponents are shooting just 38.1 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from 3-point range this season and only two opponents (Colorado and Gonzaga) have shot better than 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point land. Fitzgerald Shooting Well From Long RangeDespite an 0-5 performance on Dec. 17 against Maryland-Eastern Shore, junior Mike Fitzgerald is ranked fourth in three-point percentage in the Mountain West, shooting 50 percent (20-40) so far this season. Fitzgerald was 6-of-8 from 3-point range en route to a career-high 19 points on Dec. 10 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and is shooting at a 56.5 percent clip (13-23) from long range in his last four games. 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 appeared in his 71st career game last week against Gonzaga, has 785 career points and is 43rd 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.