Air Force Falters Against Denver, 65-59
USAFA, Colo. - Succumbing to a huge second-half run, the Air Force women's basketball team fell short against Denver, dropping a 65-59 contest Tuesday evening in Clune Arena. The Falcons fall to 6-2 on the season, while the Pioneers, winners of three straight, even their record at 4-4.
The first half was a back and forth battle between the two teams, including eight total lead changes. But although Air Force and Denver each had similar percentages from the field, the Pioneers knocked down 5-of-6 free throws in the opening period, while the Falcons did not attempt a single foul shot. Three of those free throws came in the final 1:09 of the half, as Denver was able to go into the locker room with a 28-24 advantage.
Air Force quickly erased its deficit after intermission, as seven points from sophomore Pamela Findlay (Glenview, Ill.) helped spark a 17-4 run, giving the Falcons a 41-32 lead with just under 13 minutes remaining. However, the Pioneers had an answer, putting together another spurt, eventually tying the score at 47-47.
Following a layup by Alecia Steele (So., Oklahoma City, Okla.) which put Air Force back on top, Denver scored 11 unanswered points and the Falcons could never recover. A pair of three-pointers by junior Andrea Taylor (Sugar Grove, Ill.) in the final minute cut into the Pioneers' advantage, but Denver hit three foul shots in the last 34 seconds, sealing the 65-59 victory.
For the eighth time in eight games this season, Air Force won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Denver 44-37. However, the Falcons attempted just four free throws, six less than their previous season low, while the Pioneers hit 13-of-17 from the line in the contest.
Steele led the Falcons with 14 points, all in the second half, while adding seven rebounds, and Findlay pitched in 11points and six rebounds. Taylor also scored in double-figures with a season-best 10 points, with five rebounds and four assists. Meanwhile, sophomore Ellen Jaeschke (Cary, Ill.) tied a school Division I record for blocks in a game with five.
For the Pioneers, Sara Benham and Brooke Meyer each scored 14 points, while Venice Adams added 13.
With a nine-day break for final exams, the Falcons will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 22, when they play host to cross-town foe UCCS in a 12:00 p.m. contest.