RIVERSIDE, CALIF. -- Michael Lyons scored a game-high 22 points to lead Air Force to a 61-53 victory over UC Riverside Saturday at SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif. The Falcons improved to 8-2 this season, while UCR fell to 3-9.
Lyons shot 8-of-16 from the field and added team-highs of six rebounds and three assists. He scored 14 of his points in the second half, including eight in a 12-2 run early in the second half that put the Falcons ahead 42-32 with 15 minutes remaining.
“Michael Lyons was really good today,” said Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich.” He made some great shots in the second half and sometimes just makes you say wow.”
UC Riverside cut the lead to 44-39 on a Chris Patton layup at the 10:56 mark, but the Falcons went on a 16-7 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 60-46 with 3:17 remaining.
Kyle Green, who started the first nine games of the season, went 3-of-4 from three-point range and added 11 points off the bench while Taylor Broekhuis had 10 points and four rebounds for Air Force. Tre’ Coggins chipped in with seven points and a game-high four steals.
“Kyle gave us some great minutes and experience off the bench today,” said Pilipovich.
After UCR opened the game ahead 4-0, the Falcons had four players hit a three-pointer during a 17-0 run, but the Highlanders responded with a 19-4 run off its own as the Falcons went into halftime with a 30-28 lead.
The Falcons travel to Sunrise, Fla., to take on the eighth-ranked Florida Gators on Saturday, Dec. 29 as part of the 2012 Orange Bowl Classic. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (ET).