Junior Kamryn Williams scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and added 10 rebounds for his third career double-double as the Air Force men’s basketball team defeated Army 79-68 in the first round of the All-Military Classic Friday in Lexington, Va. Sophomore Tre’ Coggins scored a career-high 20 points for the Falcons, who will play in the tournament’s title game for the third straight year, facing either host VMI or Citadel on Saturday.
Air Force blew the game open midway through the second half with a 32-10 run, taking a 68-55 lead with 3:37 remaining. Junior Max Yon had nine points and Williams chipped in with eight, including a couple of dunks, during the spurt. The Falcons then made seven of 10 free throws, including five from Coggins, in the final 1:45 of the game. Yon finished the game with a career-high 12 points, as did freshman Darrius Parker.
The Falcons played without their top seven scorers from last season after five seniors graduated, sophomore-to-be Cameron Michael transferred and junior co-captain DeLovell Earls missed the game due to an injury. Williams and senior Chase Kammerer (career highs of six rebounds and five assists) each hit an early three-pointer as the Falcons took a 6-2 lead in the first two minutes. Army then outscored Air Force 16-5 to take an 18-11 lead and it was back and forth the rest of the first half as Army held a 30-28 advantage at the break.
The Black Knights slowly built on their lead in the second half, growing it to their biggest lead at 45-36 off a three-pointer by Maxwell Lenox. After two free throws by Tanner Plomb made it 47-40, Yon scored nine straight points for Air Force in a variety of ways, a four-point play, a dunk off a steal and a three-pointer that tied the game at 49-all with 10:29 remaining.
Williams had a lay-up and a dunk and Coggins nailed a three-pointer over the next 1:27 to give the Falcons a 56-49 lead at the 8:52 mark and they never trailed the rest of the way.
The Falcons shot 53.1 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range, compared to just 33.8 and 27.3 percent, respectively, for Army. Tanner Omlid led the Black Knights with 18 points and Kyle Wilson added 10. Larry Toomey scored seven and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds for Army.