Air Force Falls to Nevada in Mountain West Tournament
March 12, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Air Force women's basketball team closed out its season with an 80-66 loss to Nevada in the opening round of the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Championship on Tuesday evening at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The Falcons, who held a 37-36 lead at the intermission, were outscored 44-29 in the second half, with the Wolf Pack getting nearly half of their points from the foul line. Meanwhile, Air Force, which did not attempt a single free throw in the second half, shot just 37 percent from the field after the break.
Junior Cherae Medina (Denver, Colo.), who left the game in the second half with a knee injury, was the leading scorer for the Falcons, tallying 17 points, while senior Alicia Leipprandt (Ubly, Mich.) added 16 points. Also scoring in double figures for Air Force were Jimi Blagowsky (So., Edmond, Okla.) with 12 points and Austyn Wilson (Sr., Dallas, Texas) with 11 points.
For the Wolf Pack, Danika Sharp scored a game-high 25 points, Mimi Mungedi added 18 points and Aja Johnson scored 13 points.
While Nevada scored the first five points of the contest, Air Force took its first lead of the game at the 16-minute mark in the opening half, as a three-pointer by Medina sparked a 13-2 run. The Falcons pushed their advantage to 24-14 midway through the first period, but the Wolf Pack battled back to take a 34-33 lead with 54 seconds remaining in the half. Blagowsky and Medina added back-to-back baskets to put Air Force back on top by three, but a last-second layup by Nevada brought the halftime score to 37-26.
The Wolf Pack scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 43-37 lead, before Wilson tallied six of the next eight points in the game to cut the margin to two. Nevada regained its six-point cushion with the next two baskets, but Air Force scored six straight to tie the game at 49-49 with 12:20 remaining.
The Falcons took their first lead of the second half with another three-pointer from Medina with just under 10 minutes to play, but a three-point play by Mungedi on the next possession put Nevada back ahead. Air Force was never able to get closer than two points the rest of the way, and the Wolf Pack scored 13 points from the charity stripe in the final minute and a half to pull away.
Air Force concludes its season with a 4-26 overall record, while Nevada, which improved to 8-22 on the year, advances to play top-seed San Diego State in the quarterfinals.