No. 23 Air Force cruises past Santa Clara
Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) – Jacob Burtschi paced five Air Force players
in double-figures with 16 points, as the 23rd-ranked Falcons pounded host
Santa Clara, 78-48, in the championship game of the Cable Car Classic.
Burtschi hit four three-pointers and had five assists for the Falcons (13-1),
who shot 60 percent from the floor and hit on 16-of-30 three-point attempts.
Matt McGraw, Andrew Henke and Nick Welch all had 13 points and all three
players hit a trio of treys in Air Force’s ninth straight win since its lone
loss of the season to Duke.
Dan Nwaelele added 12 points and seven assists for the Falcons, who bested
George Washington to reach the title game.
John Bryant was the lone Santa Clara player in double-figures with 10 points,
while Josh Higgins had eight points and seven boards. Sean Denison had six for
the Broncos (10-5), who had a two-game winning streak snapped while losing for
just the second time in seven games.
Santa Clara just couldn’t keep up with Air Force’s hot hand as the Broncos
made just 38 percent of their shots and hit just five threes to the Falcons’
Air Force opened up the game with two straight three-pointers and led 11-5
before an 8-0 run upped its lead to 19-5.
Five straight points by Henke later pushed the Falcons edge to 27-10 with 8:50
remaining in the first half. Then, after a layup by Bryant, Air Force
countered with three-straight treys to go ahead 36-12.
McCraw, Henke and Nwaelele all connected from three-point range to put Air
Force’s lead at 24. The Falcons carried a 48-21 edge into the break.
The Falcons cruised through the second half, leading by as many as 34 at 63-29
on a layup by Nwaelele with 13 minutes to play.
The Broncos downed Colgate to reach the title game here…Santa Clara
outrebounded Air Force 28-26…The Falcons netted 23 points off
turnovers…Tim Anderson had eight points for the Falcons while Nwaelele had