When Tim Anderson took the floor to begin the second half, he might have heard someone calling his name.
''Someone in each game has to step up, and each game is different,'' Anderson said after Air Force defeated Colorado State, 75-59 Tuesday night. ''For us to be successful, different players are going to have to step up at different times. At that time in this game I felt good shooting, so I tried to take a few more shots.''
Anderson had 12 first-half points, and Air Force (3-2 Mountain West Conference, 11-7) had gone to the locker room with a 29-28 lead at the intermission. He matched that to open the second half, hitting 12 consecutive points and posting Air Force to a 41-30 lead that all but put the game out of the reach of Colorado State (0-4, 6-12).
''I have to give credit to our coaching staff for that,'' Anderson said of the scoring burst that included two three-point shots and a dunk. ''At halftime they thought of a play that might work against our defense so we ran it a couple of times and it worked. It was just a play against their zone, a screen against their guard.''
Anderson finished with a game-high 26 points, four shy of his career-best 30 against Wake Forest on Dec. 30.
Even so, his effort was nearly matched by Colorado State's Marcus Walker, who entered the contest averaging a conference-best 17.2 points per game, and finished with 23 to lead the Rams' scoring. Walker had 15 at halftime, and had kept the game close with six of nine field goals in the opening half, including three of five from beyond the arc.
''It's a chess match if they move a pawn, we move a pawn,'' said Tim Miles, in his first year as the Rams' coach. ''Ultimately it came down to (to this) we could not get Tim Anderson under control and we couldn't find anyone else to help Walker.''
Inspired by Anderson's scoring spurt, which also brought the crowd to life, the Air Force defense began playing more aggressively.
The Rams, who had been shooting better than 50 percent from the field earlier, began missing shots. Colorado State managed a 7-2 run later in the half, but could not overcome the Air Force lead.
''We had to hold down Walker because he was having a good game in the first half,'' Anderson said. ''We adjusted our zone defense during halftime and it worked out.''
''I think it's the best we've played, offense and defense together,'' said Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds.
Anwar Johnson, recovering from a bout of pneumonia, was happy to oblige. He contributed 18 points for the Falcons, including 10 of 10 from the free-throw line.
''It's been a big difference the past couple of weeks,'' Johnson said. ''I'm finally feeling up to speed.''
Andrew Henke also was in double figures for Air Force with 11.
''The only problem is we couldn't stop Walker,'' Reynolds said. ''He's a terrific player. He reminds me of Vinny Johnson, who played in the NBA.''
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