Nov. 23, 2012
USAFA, Colo. - Despite shooting a season-high 49 percent from the field, the Air Force women's basketball team dropped its home opener to service-academy rival Army, 72-68, Friday evening at Clune Arena.
While the Falcons outshot and outrebounded the Black Knights, Army (5-1) had a huge advantage at the free throw line, converting on 32-of-46 foul shots. Kelsey Minato led the way, scoring 13 of her team-high 20 points at the charity stripe, setting a new Army record for free throws made in a single game.
Meanwhile, the Falcons (0-4) were led by seniors Alicia Leipprandt (Ubly, Mich.), who scored a season-best 23 points, and Dymond James (Brambleton, Va.), who registered her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Katie Hilbig (Castle Rock, Colo.) also scored in double figures, adding 11 points for Air Force.
The Black Knights led 32-30 at the half, despite a 59.1 percent shooting effort from the Falcons, as they took advantage of 13 Air Force turnovers. The two teams traded baskets for the first five minutes of the second period, with the Falcons taking a 39-38 advantage at the 14:48 mark. However, the Black Knights went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to gain a seven-point lead.
With Army leading by as many as eight points with 10:28 remaining, Air Force came storming back, eventually taking a 57-56 lead with just over five minutes to play. However, a three-point play by the Black Knights' Aimee Oertner put Army back on top to stay. The Black Knights led by five in the final minute before a three-point basket by Leipprandt cut the Falcons' deficit to 70-68 with six seconds on the clock, but Minato was able to ice the game for Army with a pair of free throws at the other end.
Air Force plays its second-straight home game on Monday evening, as it faces another service academy rival in Navy. The Falcons and Midshipmen are set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. in Clune Arena.