Falcons Drop 73-70 Contest to USF in Air Force Classic
Dec. 3, 2011
USAFA, Colo. - Despite a career-best 32 points from Alicia Leipprandt (Jr., Ubly, Mich.), the Air Force women's basketball team was unable to get past the University of South Florida, coming up short in a 73-70 loss Saturday in the final game of the Air Force Classic.
Leipprandt also added 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, while sophomore Megan O'Neil (Aurora, Colo.) registered her first career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Falcons got out to a strong start against their Big East opposition, taking a 12-2 lead to begin the game. Shooting over 48 percent from the field and dominating on the boards, Air Force led by as many as 10 points in the opening half before taking a 40-34 advantage at the break.
Air Force extended its lead to 53-40 in the first five minutes of the second period, but USF took advantage of the Falcons' turnovers to slowly chip away at the margin. With just over three minutes to play, the Bulls grabbed a 67-65 lead and retained control of the game.
USF gained its largest advantage of the contest with 25 seconds on the clock, leading by six points, before Leipprandt knocked down her first three-pointer of the year to cut the margin to 73-70 with less than six seconds to play. A turnover by the Bulls gave Air Force one last opportunity to tie the game, but the Falcons were unable to get another score.
Although Air Force outshot USF and dominated the boards with a 54-33 rebounding advantage, turnovers proved to be the deciding factor. The Bulls recorded 28 steals in the game to pressure the Falcons into a season-high 36 turnovers.
Jasmine Wynne led USF with 18 points, while Andrell Smith added 12 points.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Leipprandt was named to the All-Air Force Classic team, along with Wynne, Jackson State's Tiffany Kellum and Idaho State's Kaela Oakes. Meanwhile, Ashleigh Vella was named the Air Force Classic MVP after helping lead Idaho State to a 2-0 record on the weekend.
The Falcons are back on the road on Wednesday, Dec. 7, as they visit Big Ten opponent Minnesota in a 7:00 p.m. (ET) contest.