Air Force Bounces Back From Slow Start To Blast San Jose State In First Round
Falcons advance to the quarters, will face third-seeded Fresno State
Air Force rocks SJSU to stay alive in Mountain West Tournament
Chris Joyce had 20 points while Ryan Swan and Lavelle Scottie combined for 24 points as Air Force responded to an early deficit to blow out San Jose State 87-56 in the Mountain West Tournament’s first round.
It didn’t start off easy for the Falcons, who were shellshocked by the time of the first media timeout.
San Jose State, which entered the game having won just one league game all year, exploded for a 13-0 advantage in the game’s first four minutes.
“We just said, one possession at a time,” head coach Dave Pilipovich said after the win. “We had to get some stops to get us back into the game.”
It didn’t take time for Air Force to turn things around despite the slow start, though. The Falcons tied things up at 15 with an Ameka Akaya jumper and then surged for the team’s first lead of the night with a Ryan Swan three-pointer, grabbing an 18-15 advantage with 8:57 to go in the first period.
The rest was all Air Force.
After the 13-point deficit, the Falcons outscored SJSU 36-15 the rest of the half, taking a 36-28 lead into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same, as Air Force continued to clamp down and defense and saw more shots fall. The Academy knocked down 11 three-pointers and blitzed San Jose State for 51 points in the second half, outscoring the Spartans 51-28 over the final 20 minutes.
Up next for No. 6 Air Force is a quarterfinals matchup against No. 3 Fresno State. The two met just once this season, a stunning 64-61 Falcons win in Fresno on February 20.
Eli Boettger is the lead basketball writer at Mountain West Wire. He’s covered Mountain West basketball since 2015 and his work has been featured on Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, SB Nation, Yahoo Sports, MSN, and other platforms. Boettger is a current USBWA member.