Nov. 30, 2012
USAFA, Colo. - Freshman Missy Byrd (Decatur, Ga.) registered a double-double in her first career start, but the Air Force women's basketball team was unable to get past Kansas City in the first game of the Air Force Classic, falling 66-58.
Byrd recorded 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while senior Dymond James (Brambleton, Va.) added a team-leading 14 points and nine rebounds for the Falcons. Also scoring in double figures for Air Force was senior Alicia Leipprandt (Ubly, Mich.) with 10 points. Meanwhile, Eilise Blakesley scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Kangaroos.
The Falcons led by as many as eight points midway through the first half, but Kansas City outscored Air Force 17-8 over the next six minutes to take a 26-25 advantage. The lead changed hands seven more times through the end of the half, with the `Roos going into the locker room leading 32-31.
After the break, the lead changes and ties continued for the first few minutes, but UMKC slowly began to push ahead, aided by 16 second-half turnovers by the Falcons. Kansas City's lead stayed below five points for most of the second half before a three-pointer by Blakesley gave the Kangaroos a 59-53 advantage with just over three minutes to play.
Air Force dominated on the glass, outrebounding Kansas City 44-22, and also had the advantage on the free throw line, knocking down 16-of-23 foul shots. However, the Falcons committed 24 turnovers compared to just 12 for the `Roos.
The Falcons return to action tomorrow afternoon as they conclude the Air Force Classic with a 4:30 p.m. contest versus San Diego.