Air Force Drops Title Game To Stephen F. Austin, 67-63, In Air Force Classic
USAFA, Colo. - Unable to overcome an early 15-point deficit, the Air Force women's basketball team fell to Stephen F. Austin, 67-63, in the championship game of the Academy Hotel Air Force Classic Saturday evening at Clune Arena. The Falcons fall to 4-1 with their first loss of the season, while the Ladyjacks improve to 3-3.
For the second night in a row, Air Force struggled offensively to start the game, this time missing 11 of their first 12 shots. Meanwhile, Stephen F. Austin were hot out of the gates, going 9-for-11 in the first seven and a half minutes of the game to help stake a 20-5 margin. However, the Falcons began to respond, coming within four points after a steal and layup by junior Letricia Castillo (Anchorage, Alaska), and went into intermission trailing 34-28.
Air Force continued its comeback early in the second half after a three-pointer by Castillo and a jumper by sophomore Pamela Findlay (Glenview, Ill.) cut the margin to 37-35. After a quick timeout, the Ladyjacks regained control, keeping the Falcons at bay. Air Force finally tied the score at 54-54 following a three-point play by Castillo, but never were able to take the lead as Stephen F. Austin held on for the 67-63 win.
Castillo contributed a career-high-tying 22 points to lead the Falcons, while sophomore Lauren Henderson (Nixa, Mo.) added nine points and five assists. Jamie Davis (So., Fresno, Calif.) also pitched in a career-high nine points for Air Force, while grabbing a game-high four steals.
For the Ladyjacks, LaToya Mills finished with 23 points, 12 of which were scored in the first six minutes alone, and nine rebounds. Britany Vinson added 17 points and four assists, while Kendria Smith scored 10 points.
Castillo and Henderson were both named to the Air Force Classic all-tournament team, along with Mills, Bucknell's Hope Foster and High Point's Sellars. Meanwhile, Vinson was named the tournament MVP after averaging 18.0 points in the Ladyjacks' two games.
Air Force hits the road for its next two games, as it travels to Logan, Utah, for a contest with Utah State on Dec. 8, followed with a Dec. 10 tilt with Montana State in Bozeman, Mont.