BYU tops No. 25 Air Force
Colorado Springs, CO (Sports Network) – Austin Ainge poured in 14 points,
pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists to lead BYU over 25th-
ranked Air Force, 62-58, at Clune Arena.
Keena Young added 12 points and six boards for the Cougars (22-7, 12-3 MWC),
who have won nine of their last 10 games and are assured at least a share of
the Mountain West Conference title. Jimmy Balderson donated 11 points and
Trent Plaisted scored 10 in the victory.
BYU, which finished 51 percent from the floor, can clinch the league title
with a win Saturday at home against Utah. A UNLV loss in one of its two
remaining games would also clinch the title for the Cougars.
Tim Anderson and Jacob Burtschi each contributed 15 points for the Falcons
(23-7, 10-6), who had a 30-game home winning streak snapped. Dan Nwaelele
posted 14 points and became the 21st player at Air Force to eclipse 1,000
points for his career.
Air Force led by as many as eight after a 7-0 run — capped by a three-pointer
and two free throws from Nwaelele — with 4:22 left in the first half.
BYU then took a one-point lead on Sam Burgess’ layup, but a three-point play
by Anwar Johnson the Falcons on top, 32-30 at the break.
In the second, Ryan Teets’ triple gave the Falcons a 49-38 edge, but the
Cougars went on a 14-2 burst, ended with Young’s jumper for a one-point lead
with 6:38 to play.
Then, down by two, BYU ripped off seven straight points in the final five
minutes to ice the game.
The Falcons shot 45 percent from the field.
BYU shot 57 percent (8-of-14) from three-point range, while Air Force
converted 39 percent (7-of-18) from beyond the arc.