Air Force Edged by Denver in Home Opener
Nov. 17, 2011
USAFA, Colo. - Junior Dymond James (Brambleton, Va.) notched her first double-double of the season, but the Air Force women's basketball team was unable to get past in-state rival Denver, dropping a 54-52 decision Thursday evening in Clune Arena.
James finished the game with 14 points and a career-high-tying 15 rebounds to lead the Falcons, while sophomore Megan O'Neil (Aurora, Colo.) added a career-best 14 points. In addition, Alicia Leipprandt (Jr., Ubly, Mich.) recorded the first 10-rebound game of her career.
The game was close throughout, with seven ties and 11 lead changes, but Denver maintained control for most of the second half. Although the Pioneers held their largest lead, 30-23, early in the period, the Falcons began to battle back, tying the score at 38-38 with a three-point play by James. However, a 5-0 run put Denver ahead to stay.
The Pioneers still led by five points with just 34 seconds remaining, but Air Force was able to cut the margin to 54-52 with 12 seconds remaining. A pair of missed free throws less by Denver than a second later gave the Falcons another opportunity to score. Following an Air Force timeout, Cherae Medina (So., Denver, Colo.) went for three and was fouled after going for the rebound. At the free throw line, Medina missed both shots and while Air Force came up with the offensive rebound, there was not enough time to get off a shot.
Both teams shot poorly for the game, with Denver hitting 35.1 percent of its shots from the field, while Air Force shot 33.3 percent. The Falcons knocked down 11-of-20 free throws and 1-of-8 three-pointers, while the Pioneers were just 13-of-30 at the line and 1-of-10 from long range. Both teams also struggled taking care of the ball, with Air Force committing 22 turnovers and Denver finishing with 20 turnovers.
The leading scorer for the Pioneers was Kaetlyn Murdoch was 19 points, while Quincey Noonan added 14 points.
The Falcons head back to Colorado for their home opener on Thursday, Nov. 17, as they host in-state rival Denver in a 7:00 p.m. contest.