Senior Michael Lyons and freshman Cameron Michael led four Air Force players in double figures with 15 points apiece Sunday as the Falcons defeated Regis University 83-43 at Clune Arena. The Falcons improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season while the game was an exhibition game for Regis, which remains 1-0 this season.
"Our seniors set the tone," said Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich. "The last two games they have set the tone. We talked about playing Air Force basketball. It's not about who we're playing but how we play. They did a good job of that and set the tone. They built that lead and gave us an opportunity to play the younger guys."
Lyons set the tone very early, giving the Falcons a 2-0 lead after hustling for an offensive rebound and scoring on the put-back. Senior Taylor Broekhuis (13 points) then scored 11 straight points, including a couple of three-pointers, for Air Force, which held a 13-5 lead at the 14:32 mark.
Regis closed the gap to 15-10 with 11:06 remaining in the first half on a layup by Corbin Green (team-high 10 points), but Air Force reeled off a 24-3 run the rest of the period to take a 39-13 lead to halftime. Lyons had nine in the first half while Michael and senior Todd Fletcher each added six.
The second half was much of the same story with the Falcon reserves in the game for much of the half as Pilipovich was able to empty his bench for the second straight game. Freshman Tre' Coggins scored 11 of his career-high 13 points in the second half and he pulled down a career-best seven rebounds in the game.
"Those guys (backups) work extremely hard in practice and it's good to give them some opportunities in games," said Pilipovich. "Our young guys have some spark and energy to them and they are a close group. It's exciting to watch them play and grow."
Lyons and sophomore DeLovell Earls each tied his career-high with nine and five rebounds, respectively, while Air Force's 46 rebounds were the most in one game since gathering 50 against San Diego State on Jan. 20, 2000.
Combined with its 102-68 victory over Western State last Thursday night, the Falcons posted back-to-back 30-point victories for the first time since defeating Stanford (79-45) and Colorado (84-46) on Nov. 15 and 18, 2006, respectively. Today's 40-point victory was the largest for Air Force since an 82-31 win over Colorado College o Dec. 9. 2006.
Air Force concludes its three-game homestand on Wednesday, Nov. 21 against Montana State at Clune Arena beginning at 7 p.m.