MIAMI, Fla. - Air Force women's basketball dropped a 70-69 contest at FIU Sunday afternoon at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. The Falcons fell as FIU broke up the tie and went ahead with a free throw with five seconds left in regulation.
In a back-and-forth battle, the Falcons had clawed its way back from a nine point deficit after three quarters. The teams battled through four lead changes in the fourth before the Panthers won out. Air Force and FIU had 14 lead changes during the game.
With the game tied at 69, the Falcons had a chance to go ahead, but Erika Chapman's jumper with eight seconds left in the game fell just short. Shante Walker was able to get the rebound with five seconds left and was fouled by Chapman. Walker sunk the first of two free throws. Air Force had one last shot to win the game, but Kailin Immel's shot missed its mark.
Immel led four Falcons in double-figures with 21 points. Fellow freshman Emily Conroe added a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Chapman scored 12 point to go with three assists. Senior Cortney Porter scored 10 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists.
Air Force broke out of its early-season three-point slump, connecting on eight three's and shooting 42 percent from long range. Immel connect on five three's and Conroe made two.
The Falcons had its strongest day on the boards so far this season, out-rebounding the Panthers 47-39.
Kristian Hudson led FIU with 23 points and nine rebounds. Kiandre'a Pound added 18 points and nine boards. Walker had 13 points.
"We took some stepds forward today, particularly our freshmen," Air Force head coach Chris Gobrecht said. "Emily Conroe took a big step forward and Kailin Immel made some big shots for us today. In addition, I though our seniors did a good job of keeping our team focused to play despite the distractions this venue presented. We're making strides as a program and its good to be in these close games. We just have to move past some of the mistakes that led to this loss."
Air Force trailed FIU 19-18 after the first quarter and 40-39 at halftime. The Falcons used an 8-0 run to open the third quarter to go up 47-40. The Panthers rallied with a 17-1 run for the rest of the quarter to take the 57-48 lead after three quarters.
Air Force returns to action Wednesday, Nov. 22 at Navy.