Air Force Defeats New Mexico to Close Out Regular Season
Feb. 29, 2012
USAFA, Colo. - Junior Katie Hilbig (Castle Rock, Colo.) registered her third double-double of the season to lead the Air Force women's basketball team in a 52-47 victory over New Mexico Wednesday evening in Clune Arena.
With the win, the Falcons snapped a 14-game losing streak, while also posting just their second-ever victory over the Lobos and their first as a Division I team.
Hilbig finished with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for Air Force, while sophomore Cherae Medina (Denver, Colo.) also scored in double figures with 12 points. For the Lobos, Caroline Durbin was the leading scorer with 13 points, while Porche Torrance added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Looking for its first conference win of the year, Air Force (6-23, 1-13) struggled early, going without a field goal for over eight minutes to fall into an 11-1 deficit in the first half. However, the Falcons went on a run to tie the game at 12-12 with a three-pointer from Medina. Air Force and New Mexico traded leads for the remainder of the opening half before going into the locker room tied at 25-25.
New Mexico (9-19, 3-11) notched the first five points after the break to regain the advantage, but the lead continued to change hands as both teams went on scoring spurts. The Lobos were up by three points, 43-40, with just under five minutes remaining and still had a one-point cushion with 3:07 left on the clock.
After a basket by Medina put Air Force back on top, sophomore Camille Thompson (McDonough, Ga.) converted a three-point play to push the Falcons' margin to four points with 2:21 remaining. Air Force came up with defensive stops down the stretch to hold on to the five-point victory.
Air Force was able to hold New Mexico, the top three-point field goal shooting team in the conference, to just 1-of-11 from beyond the arc. The Falcons also forced 24 turnovers by the Lobos, while grabbing a season-high-tying 15 steals, led by Hilbig and senior captain Jamela Satterfield (Sacramento, Calif.) with three each. Meanwhile, Air Force was outrebounded for the game, 44-36, and shot poorly at the charity stripe, missing 13 free throws on the evening.
The Falcons head to Las Vegas, Nev., next week for the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Basketball Championships being held March 7-10 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Air Force, the eighth seed in the women's bracket, will face top-seeded San Diego State in the opening round.