Air Force Crushes Utah Valley State, 97-70, In Road Opener
Orem, Utah -- With a record-setting offensive performance, the Air Force women's basketball team rolled to a 97-70 victory over Utah Valley State Tuesday evening at the McKay Center. The Falcons improve to 2-0 on the early season, while the Wolverines fall to 0-2.
The opening stanza started out close, until a three-pointer by sophomore Pamela Findlay (Glenview, Ill.) midway through the half ignited a 29-4 run by the Falcons. Air Force, which was shooting lights out from the field and the foul line, closed out the half with strong defense, grabbing 10 first-half steals as they rolled to a 53-27 margin at intermission.
However, Utah Valley State battled back, putting together an 18-5 spurt in the first five minutes of the second half, aided by five Air Force turnovers. While the Wolverines managed to get within 13 points by the 10:49 mark, they could get no closer, as the Falcons slowly extended their advantage. Air Force grabbed a 29-point margin, its largest lead of the contest, with just five seconds remaining when freshman Brooke Cultra (Onarga, Ill.) knocked down a free throw, but Utah Valley State's Susie Cornejo hit a pair of foul shots to move the final tally to 97-70.
The 97 points scored by Air Force are the most since it moved to the Division I level, while the team also set Division I records for field goals made (32) and field goal percentage (.561). The Falcons were also impressive from beyond the arc, connecting on 10-of-18 attempts, while converting on 23-of-26 shots (.885) from the charity stripe.
Findlay paced the Falcons with a career-high 17 points, hitting five shots from long range. Meanwhile, three other Air Force players also scored in double-figures. Junior captain Letricia Castillo (Anchorage, Alaska) tallied 16 points, going 7-for-7 at the free throw line, while junior Dawn Higginbotham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and sophomore Lauren Henderson (Nixa, Mo.) added 12 points each. Henderson also added a team-high eight assists and four steals, while sophomore Alecia Steele (Oklahoma City, Okla.) paced the team with six rebounds.
Leading the way for the Wolverines was freshman Robyn Fairbanks with a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds, while Sandy Marvin and Cornejo added 17 and 12 points, respectively.
The Falcons conclude their first road trip of the season this Friday, Nov. 25, when they face Weber State in a 7:00 p.m. contest.