USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force women’s basketball nearly erased a 22-point halftime deficit before falling to Fresno State, 64-58, in Mountain West action Saturday afternoon at Clune Arena. Freshman Kaelin Immel and senior Cortney Porter combined for 39 points to lead the Falcons.
Trailing by 22 at the half, the Falcons mounted a furious second-half rally. Air Force scratched and clawed its way back to make it a five point game with just under a minute to go.
After an opening bucket to start the third by the Bulldogs, the Falcons went on a 14-0 run to get back into the game. Air Force held Fresno State scoreless for over seven straight minutes in the third. Air Force reduced the deficit to 12 at 58-46 after three quarters.
The Falcons further narrowed the gap in the fourth with a 10-0 run midway through the fourth quarter. Air Force was able to cut Fresno State’s lead down to five at 60-55 with 52 seconds left. The Bulldogs, however, were able to close out the game by going 4-for-4 at the free throw line late, while the Falcons managed only a game-ending three by Immel.
The duo of Immel and Porter were key players in the rally, scoring 36 of their 39 points in the second half. Immel finished with a career-high 24 points. It was her second-straight game scoring over 20. Porter scored 15 points, adding a team-high seven rebounds and six assists.
The Falcons got five points each from senior Erika Chapman and freshman Emily Conroe. Freshmen Naomi Hughes and Alexis Springfield were the leading scorers off the bench with three points each.
“Fresno State is a very skilled team offensively and it took us some time to make the right adjustments,” Air Force head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “We’re such a young team that we’re constantly teaching, often in-game. We fought back and made a game of it in the second half.”
Air Force struggled to a 40-18 halftime deficit, having made just five field goals. The Falcons went on to make 15 field goals in the second half, including four three’s.
Candice White led Fresno State with 20 points. Maddi Utti added 18 points and seven rebounds.
Air Force returns to action Saturday, Jan. 6, at Nevada.