Dec. 27, 2012
Air Force Falcons vs. #14/11 Florida Gators
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012
4:30 p.m. (ET) at Sunrise, Calif.
2012 Orange Bowl Classic
Location Sunrise, Fla.
Arena BB&T Center
Network Air Force / IMG Radio Network
Station AM 740 KVOR, Colo. Spgs.
Play-by-Play Matt Pauley
Network Fox Sports Florida
In Colorado ROOT Sports
Play-by-Play Rich Waltz
Analyst Mark Wise
Dave Pilipovich (Thiel College, 1986)
Air Force 10-8, First Full Season
Billy Donovan (Providence, 1987)
Florida 394-160, 17th Season
Overall 429-180, 19th Season
Overall Florida leads 1-0
Neutral Site Florida leads 1-0
First Game Dec. 27, 1963
Result Florida won 74-68
Current Streak Florida - 1
Falcons Play #14/11 Florida in Orange Bowl Classic
The Air Force men’s basketball team battles the nationally-ranked Florida Gators on Saturday, Dec. 29 as part of the 2012 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. Tip-off at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (ET). The game, the second of a doubleheader, will follow a matchup between Florida State and Tulsa and be televised nationally on Fox Sports regional networks. Air Force improved to 8-2 this season with a 61-53 victory at UC Riverside on Dec. 22, while the Gators, ranked 14th in the AP poll and 11th in the coaches poll, are also 8-2 after dropping a 67-61 decision at Kansas State on Dec. 22.
8-2 Ties Second-Best Start Ever
Air Force’s 8-2 record ties the second-best start ever in program history after 10 games. The Falcons have been 9-1 twice in the past (2005-06 and `06-07) and this is the fourth time at 7-2, most recently during the 2008-09 campaign.
Todd Fletcher Tops The Nation in Assist-Turnover Ratio
Senior point guard Todd Fletcher leads the nation in assist-turnover ratio at 8.4. Fletcher has 42 assists and just five turnovers in 10 games this season. In addition, senior Michael Lyons is 12th nationally in scoring at 20.5 points per game.
The Falcons conclude their holiday road trip against former head coach Chris Mooney and the Richmond Spiders on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Robins Center in Richmond, Va.
Air Force Still With Only Two Wins Against Ranked Teams
With its 89-74 loss to 23rd-ranked Colorado on Nov. 25, Air Force fell to 2-76 against ranked opponents in program history. The two victories came against No. 21 UTEP (75-72) on Feb. 15, 1992 and No. 13 San Diego State (58-56) on Feb. 18, 2012. Florida will be the second ranked opponent Air Force has faced this season.
Falcons Claim Second Straight All-Military Classic Title
Air Force opened the 2012-13 season with a pair of victories at the second annual All-Military Classic. The Falcons used a second-half rally to defeat service-academy rival Army, 76-65, in the first round, then downed Citadel, 77-70, in the championship game.
Senior guard Michael Lyons was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after averaging 26 points and three rebounds in the two games. Lyons scored a career-high 33 points against Citadel in the title game, shooting 7-of-12 from three-point range. Fellow senior Kyle Green added a career-high 18 points and senior Todd Fletcher dished out five assists against Citadel.
This was the second of a four-year contract for the All-Military Classic, with each school hosting once. VMI will host in 2013 and Army in ‘14. The tournament will be played each year during Veteran’s Day weekend.
All-Military Classic Results
Saturday, Nov. 10
Air Force 76, Army 65
Citadel 84, VMI 76
Sunday, Nov. 11
Army 84, VMI 76 (Third-Place Game)
Air Force 77, Citadel 70 (Championship Game)
Michael Lyons Moving Up Career Scoring List
Senior Michael Lyons became the 23rd player in Air Force history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in the first half against Army in the season opener. Lyons, who entered the season with 997 career points, sank
a three-pointer 2:16 into the game to join the prestigious club. The last Falcon to join the 1,000-point club was Matt McCraw in 2007. Lyons is No. 12 on the school’s career scoring list with 1,202 points and needs four to move into the Top 10.
First Century Mark This Century
With its 102-68 victory over Western State on Nov. 15, Air Force hit the 100-point mark for the first time since Feb. 16, 1999 (111-88 victory over Denver). It was the 18th time Air Force has hit the century mark in program history.
Mountain West / Missouri Valley Challenge
The 2012-13 edition of the MW/MVC Challenge is the final of a four-year agreement between the Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conferences. Nine challenge games were played this season, with the Mountain West winning six.
Date Game / Result
Nov. 17 San Diego State 60, @Missouri State 44
Nov. 28 Boise State 83, @Creighton 70
Nov. 28 @Southern Illinois 57, Fresno State 54
Nov. 20 Drake 76, @Nevada 66
Dec. 1 @Colorado State 79, Evansville 72
Dec. 1 New Mexico 77, @Indiana State 68
Dec. 2 Wichita State 72, @Air Force 69
Dec. 4 Wyoming 81, @Illinois State 67
Dec. 19 @UNLV 73, Northern Iowa 59
Most Assists in One Game Since 1997
Air Force had 26 assists in its victory over Western State on Nov. 15, the most in one game since a school-record 36 against Doane on Nov. 22, 1997. Todd Fletcher dished out a game-high eight, one shy of his career high. The Falcons also posted 25 assists, including six by Fletcher, against Montana State.
In addition, the Falcons’ five turnovers vs. WSCU were the fewest in one game since a school-record three against Wyoming on March 8, 2007.
Todd Fletcher Moves Into Sixth on Career Assist List
Senior Todd Fletcher moved into sixth place on AFA’s career assist list against Jackson State on Nov. 28. Fletcher, who is ranked third in the Mountain West with 4.2 assists per game, dished out a season-high eight against Western State on Nov. 15 and has 291 for his career.
Third-Largest Margin of Victory in Consecutive Games
With their 102-68 victory over Western State on Nov. 15 and 83-43 win over Regis on Nov. 18, the Falcons matched the third largest margin of victory (74 points) in back-to-back games in program history.
Margin Opponents (Score, Date)
84 Colorado College (104-53, 2/6/57) and Eastern New Mexico (102-69, 2/9/57)
83 Regis (107-49, 12/20/88) and Portland (91-66, 12/22/88)
74 Western State (102-68, 11/15/12) and Regis (83-43, 11/18/12)
74 Doane College (124-57, 11/22/97) and Regis (72-65, 11/25/97)
72 Stanford (79-45, 11/15/06) and Colorado (84-46, 11/18/06)
Freshmen Making Huge Impact So Far
Freshmen Cameron Michael and Tre’ Coggins have made the most out of their playing time this season. Michael, from Loveland, Colo., scored a career-high 18 points, all in the second half, against Western State on Nov. 15 then added 15 against Regis on Nov. 18. He shot 78.5 percent (11-of-14) from the field and 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from three-point range in the two games.
Coggins, meanwhile, posted career-highs of 13 points and seven rebounds against Regis, shooting 4-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line. He had a career-high four steals at UC Riverside last Saturday.
Lyons Leads the Mountain West in Scoring
Michael Lyons leads the Mountain West in scoring at 20.5 points per game. Lyons, who scored a career-high 33 against Citadel on Nov. 11, has hit double figures in all 10 games this season. He is fifth in the conference in 3-pointers made per game (2.4), and sixth in field-goal percentage at 47.9 percent (68-of-142) and 3-point percentage (37.5%).
Broekhuis Comes up Big vs. Western State
Taylor Broekhuis scored a career-high 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field in the season-opener against Western State. Broekhuis was a perfect 2-of-2 from three-point range against the Mountaineers and is shooting 60 percent (6-of-10) from long range this season.
Mike Fitzgerald Top 10 on AFA’s Career 3-Pt Percentage List
Senior Mike Fitzgerald attempted his 150th career 3-pointer last season against Johnson & Wales, making him eligible for Air Force’s career list for three-point percentage. Fitzgerald is shooting 39.0 percent (89-for-228) for his career, placing him ninth on the list.
Dave Pilipovich in First Full Season as Head Coach
Director of Athletics Dr. Hans Mueh announced on March 3, 2012 that Dave Pilipovich agreed to become the permanent head coach of the Air Force men’s basketball team. Pilipovich, the eighth head coach in program history, was in his fifth season on the Air Force coaching staff and first as associate head coach when he took over for Jeff Reynolds, who was relieved of his duties as head coach on Feb. 8.
Pilipovich won his first game as a collegiate head coach on Feb. 15 when Air Force defeated Wyoming 58-53 in Laramie, Wyo., then led the Falcons to their first-ever win over a top 20 team with a 58-56 victory over San Diego State on Feb. 18 at Clune Arena. He currently has a 10-8 career record.
Two Losses to Winning Teams
The two teams that have defeated Air Force this season have a combined 20-3 record (.870 winning percentage). Wichita State is 11-1 and Colorado is 9-2.
Still a Solid Record at Clune
Including their 5-1 record this season, the Falcons have been hard to beat at Clune Arena the last nine-plus seasons. Since the beginning of the 2003-04 season, Air Force has won 110 of its 147 home games, good for a .748 winning percentage. In addition, the Falcons have won 41 of their 71 Mountain West games at Clune during that same stretch (.563 pct).
Two Road Wins Before Christmas - A Rarity
With its 61-53 victory at UC Riverside last Saturday, Air Force had two road wins before Christmas for the first time since the 2006-07 season. The Falcons also won at The Citadel on Nov. 11. In fact, Air Force has had two road wins before Christmas just seven times in program history.