Falcons Take On Northern Colorado In Mid-Week Tilt

    Junior Brooke Cultra.
    Junior Brooke Cultra.

    Dec. 4, 2007

    Media Notes for AF-UNC Game in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

    Air Force Falcons (3-4) vs. Northern Colorado (4-3)
    Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007 • 7:00 p.m. (MST)
    Greeley, CO • Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (2,734)

    Radio:
    Radio is available online at www.goairforcefalcons.com. Jay Ritchie will call the action for the Falcons.

    Livestats:
    none

    Last Week:
    Air Force finished second in the Air Force Classic, defeating Hampton, 85-84, in overtime and falling to Utah Valley, 78-68, in the championship game.
    Northern Colorado lost at Colorado, 69-60, and defeated Pacific, 67-58, at home.

    Up next:
    Air Force travels to Madison, Wisc., to take on Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 8.
    Northern Colorado hosts Columbia on Saturday, Dec. 8.

    Streaks:
    Air Force has a one game losing streak and Northern Colorado has a one game winning streak. UNC is 3-0 at home and AFA is 1-3 on the road.

    Coaches:
    Air Force is coached by Ardie McInelly (Boise State, 1982), who is 43-133 in her seventh season at the Academy and 120-195 in her 12th year overall as a head coach.
    Northern Colorado is coached by Jaime White (Southern Utah, 1982), who is 9-27 entering her second season.

    Last Meeting:
    Air Force defeated Northern Colorado 72-59 in Greeley on Nov. 17, 2006.

    Series History vs. Opponents
    - Air Force is 20-13 all-time against Northern Colorado.
    - The Falcons have won the last four meetings in the series. UNC's last win over Air Force was in 1995, 90-72, at the Academy.
    - The two teams first met in 1980, with the Falcons winning the first game, 71-64, at the Academy and losing 61-62 the same year in Greeley. - Air Force is 7-7 all-time in Greeley.

    Air Force vs. the Big Sky Conference
    - The Falcons are 27-22 all-time in games against Big Sky Conference schools.
    - Aside from Northern Colorado, Air Force is 7-9 all-time against the rest of the conference schools.

    	Air Force vs. Big Sky		First Meeting	Last Meeting
    	vs. Idaho State	0-2	1997	1998
    	vs. Montana State	1-4	1998	2006
    	Northern Arizona	0-1	1999
    	Northern Colorado	20-13	1980	2006
    	Sacramento State	2-0	2002	2003
    	Weber State	3-2	1998	2006

    Scouting Northern Colorado
    - Nothern Colorado enters the week with a 4-3 record after losing at Colorado and defeating Pacific last week.
    - The Bears are led by junior guard Whitley Cox, who leads the team with 21.1 points per game to go with 5.9 rebounds per game.
    - Senior Danielle Hagen is the team's top rebounder, averaging 11.4 boards per game.
    - UNC is averaging 65 points per game and allowing 62.7.

    Scouting Air Force
    - Air Force is 3-4 on the season. The Falcons were runners up at the 2007 Air Force Classic last weekend, defeating Hampton in overtime, 85-84, and falling to Utah Valley, 78-68, in the title game.
    - Senior forward Alecia Steele leads the team with 15.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
    - Air Force is averaging 65.1 points per game and allowing 70.7.

    Last Meeting
    Scoring 14 of her career-high 22 points in the first half, junior Alecia Steele led the Air Force women's basketball team to a 72-59 road victory over Northern Colorado Friday evening at the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. Air Force scored the first 10 points of the contest, and led 15-2 before a three-pointer by the Bears' Jena Fosdick ignited a 12-2 UNC run. While Air Force's advantage was cut to three, the Falcons scored the next seven points to regain a 10-point lead. A long-range field goal by Lauren Henderson (Jr., Nixa, Mo.) gave Air Force its largest advantage of the half at 32-17 as the Falcons went into intermission with a 36-24 lead. Air Force opened the second half on fire, outscoring Northern Colorado 12-2, getting back-to-back three-point field goals from Henderson and Pamela Findlay (Jr., Glenview, Ill.). The Falcons led 55-28 before a 14-0 UNC run put the Bears back in the game. However, Air Force never let its advantage dip below 15 points until a three-pointer by Northern Colorado's Whitley Cox with just six seconds remaining accounted for the final 72-59 margin. While the Falcons were outrebounded 36-32 for the game, they forced 21 turnovers while committing just 13. Air Force also shot over 45 percent for the game, including 50 percent from long range. In addition to scoring 22 points, Steele also added 11 rebounds, marking her second double-double of the season and ninth of her career. Also scoring in double figures for Air Force were Findlay, finishing with 15 points and five rebounds, and Henderson, who had 12 points and a game-high six assists.

    Recapping The Utah Valley Game
    The Air Force women's basketball team lost to Utah Valley, 78-68, in the championship game of the 2007 Air Force Classic Saturday afternoon in Clune Arena. The Wolverines sank 14 three-point baskets in the game. Utah Valley knocked down 45.2 percent of its shots from downtown (14-31). Julie McMurray was 5-of-7 and Sandy Marvin 4-of-6 from long distance. Marvin led all-scorers with 24 points, doing so for the second-consecutive game, earning tournament MVP honors. Air Force had three players reach double-figures in scoring. Freshman Raimee Beck and senior Pamela Findlay both had 14 points and senior Alecia Steele scored 12. Steele had nine rebounds and Findlay had six. Beck was 4-of-8 from three-point land. Brooke Cultra, Kim Kreke and Dana Loveless chipped in with eight points apiece. Findlay and Steele were named to the all-tournament team for the Falcons. McMurray and Robyn Fairbanks joined Marvin as Utah Valley players in double figures. McMurray finished the night with 17 points and Fairbanks, who was named to the all-tournament team, scored 12 point and pulled down nine rebounds. Asumi Nakayama had a game-high seven assists off the bench of UVU. The Wolverines led 43-34 at the half as they made eight three-point baskets in the opening stanza. Utah Valley opened the second half with a 12-2 run and held off the Falcons the rest of the way. In the consolation game, Ohio (3-3) defeated Hampton (4-3) 70-64. Air Force shot 40 percent from the field for the game (26-65) and hit 33.3 percent from three-point land (6-18).

    Recapping The Hampton Game
    Kim Kreke's free throw basketball with 0.8 seconds left in overtime propelled Air Force to an 85-84 overtime victory over Hampton in the opening game of the 2007 Air Force Classic in Clune Arena. Senior Alecia Steele scored 21 points in the game and surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her career. After Hampton tied the game at 84-84 on a layup with three seconds remaining, Kreke was fouled by Ashlee Finley on the in bound play. After missing the first free throw shot, Kreke calmly sank the second for the win. Air Force struggled to hold a double-digit lead in the second half and was forced into overtime when the Lady Pirates' Artavia Burns hit a buzzer-beating three-point basket as time expired in regulation with the score knotted at 73. It was the second time in the last three games an AFA opponent had hit a buzzer-beating three to send a game into overtime. The Falcons were led by co-captains Pamela Findlay and Steele, who combined to score 44 points and pull down 18 rebounds. Findlay scored a career-high 23 points to go with four blocked shots and seven rebounds. Steele recorded her third double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Steele, who now has 1,017 career points, became the 11th Falcon to reach the 1,000 point milestone and just the second since the Falcons moved up to Div. I competition. Junior Brooke Cultra also played well for the Falcons, scoring nine points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Hampton was led by Burns, who had a game-high 29 points on 13-of-19 shooting. Quanneisha Burns added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Rachel Butler scored 16. Stephanie James, a native of Colorado Springs and a graduate of Sierra high school, finished with three points and two steals in 17 minutes off the bench for the Pirates. Air Force shot a season-high 39 free-throw attempts, making 26, good for a 66.7 percent mark. Hampton kept the game close by dominating the offensive boards, 28-18, for the game. Air Force led 37-30 at the half, scoring 24 points in the paint. For the game, the Falcons scored 40 inside points.

    Steele Eclipses 1,000 Point Barrier Against Hampton
    With a season-high 21 points against Hampton, senior forward Alecia Steele surpassed the 1,000 career point barrier, becoming the 11th player in Air Force history to reach the 1,000 mark. Steele is just the second player, joining `07 grad Letricia Castillo, to accomplish the feat since the Falcons moved up to Div. I play. Steele enters the UNC contest with 1,029 career points.

    Findlay An All-Purpose Threat For Falcons
    Senior guard Pamela Findlay is off to a strong senior season, proving her ability as a well-rounded player. Findlay is coming off a strong weekend, where she set career-bests with 23 points, four blocks and 40 minutes played against Hampton. A do-it-all player, Findlay currently ranks amongst the conference's top 10 in several categories:

    Category	#	Rank
    3Pt Pct.	42.9	3
    Blk	1.57	3
    FG Pct.	47.8	7
    Fth Pct.	78.3	9
    Steals	1.57	9
    3Pt Fg 	1.29	T-10
    Scoring	13.3	11

    Air Force strong in rebounding, shot-blocking and free throw shooting
    Air Force ranks second in the Mountain West Conference in rebounding, shot-blocking and free throw shooting percentage. The Falcons are pulling down 40.1 boards per game, blocking 5.14 shots per game and sinking 72.5 percent of their free throws. All three categories are significantly improved from a year ago.

    Category	2006-07	2007-08	Improvement
    Rebounding	36.2	40.1	+3.9
    Shot Blocks	2.62	5.14	+2.52
    Free throw %	68.0	72.5	+4.5%

    MWC Leaders
    Alecia Steele and Raimee Beck sit atop the MWC leaderboard in rebounding and three-point baskets made. Steele is the top rebounder in the conference, pulling down 9.5 boards per game. Beck is the top distance shooter, averaging 2.7 trey's per game.

    Findlay and Steele Named Team Captains for 2007-08
    The captains for the 2006-07 basketball season are seniors Pamela Findlay and Alecia Steele. Both are first-year captains.

    Falcons Picked Ninth
    In the preseason conference poll released Oct. 17, Air Force was chosen by the coaches and select media to finish ninth in the Mountain West.

    Wyoming was tabbed as the preseason favorite for the first time in MWC history after winning the WNIT Championship and finishing tied for second place in last year's regular-season standings. Wyoming received 24-of-30 first-place votes and 203 total points. TCU had two first-place votes and finished second with 188 points, followed by BYU with one first-place vote and 182 points. New Mexico placed fourth, followed by Utah, UNLV, San Diego State, Colorado State and Air Force.

    Last year's MWC Co-Player of the Year, TCU senior guard Adrianne Ross, earned Top Returning Player honors, while Leilani Mitchell of Utah was named Top Newcomer and San Diego State's Paris Johnson was tabbed Top Freshman.

    Noting The Starters

    Noting Alecia Steele
    - Became the 11th player in Air Force history to score over 1,000 points against Hampton. Is just the second Falcons to do so in the Div. I era.
    - Leads the MWC with 9.5 rebounds per game.
    - Has three double-doubles on the year.
    - Scored a season-high 21 points against Hampton.
    - Named to Air Force Classic All-Tournament Team.

    Noting Pamela Findlay
    - Scored a career-high 23 points against Hampton.
    - Played a career-high 40 minutes against Hampton.
    - Had a career-high four blocked shots against Hampton.
    - Led team in scoring in both games of Air Force Classic.
    - Named to Air Force Classic All-Tournament Team.

    Noting Kim Kreke
    - Has started all seven games at center.
    - Has scored eight points in the last three games.
    - Went 4-for-5 from the line in both games of Air Force Classic.
    - Ranks second on team and fourth in conference with 1.43 blocks per game.

    Noting Brooke Cultra
    - Pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds against Hampton.
    - Has started all seven games at guard.
    - Leads team with 21 assists.
    - Second on team with 7.0 rebounds per game.

    Noting Raimee Beck
    - Leads the MWC with 2.71 three's per game.
    - Has led team in scoring three times.
    - Lone player on team to score 20-or-more points twice this season.
    - Has logged 40-or-more minutes in a game three times and 38-or-more five times this season.

    Up Next
    Air Force travels to Madison, Wisc., to take on Wisconsin on Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. CST.

     

     

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