Jan. 2, 2011
USAFA, Colo. - Led by senior Raimee Beck's first double-double of the season, the Air Force women's basketball team overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to defeat Colgate, 80-75, in overtime Sunday afternoon in Clune Arena.
Beck, a native of Blackfoot, Idaho, finished the game with 22 points and 10 rebounds, as the Falcons closed out their non-conference slate with a 5-8 record. Sophomore Katie Hilbig (Castle Rock, Colo.) added a career-high 19 points, while classmate Alicia Leipprandt (Ubly, Mich.) added a season-best 14 points. In addition, Dymond James (So., Brambleton, Va.) narrowly missed out on her second-straight double-double, recording nine points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
The Falcons shot poorly and struggled defensively in the first half to find themselves by double-digits in the last five minutes of the period. Colgate (5-9) gained a 21-point lead, its largest of the game, with 35 seconds to play in the half, before Air Force freshman Megan O'Neil (Denver, Colo.) converted a layup at the buzzer to cut the halftime margin to 45-26.
With a new lineup coming in after the break, the Falcons began to slowly chip away at the Raiders' lead. Hilbig helped to spark the resurgence with strong play in the paint, scoring 11 points for Air Force in a span of three and a half minutes to bring the Falcons within 13 points.
After Colgate managed to push its lead back to 15 points, Beck stepped up for the Falcons. Missing her first six shots of the afternoon, the team captain knocked down her first field goal of the game with a three-pointer at the 9:46 mark. Beck knocked down long-range shots on Air Force's next two possessions as well, cutting the lead to seven points with over eight minutes to play.
The Raiders again went up by double-figures, leading 71-61 with 4:33 remaining in regulation, but the Falcons were able to shut Colgate down in the final minutes with an 11-1 run capped off by a layup from Beck. With the score tied at 72-72 with 1:47 to play, neither team was able to score down the stretch, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Colgate led, 75-74, when a three-point play by Beck with 1:20 on the clock gave Air Force its first lead since the 12:09 mark in the opening half. The Falcons did not relinquish their advantage, closing out the game at the charity stripe for the 80-75 win.
Free throw shooting was a huge bonus for Air Force, which knocked down their first 23 foul shots (including all 20 in regulation) to finish at 89 percent from the line. In addition, the Falcons asserted themselves on the boards after the halftime break, outrebounding Colgate 31-15 in the final 25 minutes of play. Air Force also picked up 20 of its 47 rebounds on the offensive end.
Meanwhile, the Raiders, who had five players score in double-figures, shot over 46 percent from the field, while the Falcons finished the game with 35.7 percent shooting.
With its non-conference slate under wraps, Air Force will now open Mountain West Conference play, beginning with a road game at Utah on Jan. 5.