Air Force Women fall to New Mexico by five points

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USAFA, Colo. – A last minute rally fell short as the Air Force women’s basketball team dropped a 72-67 contest to New Mexico Wednesday evening in Clune Arena.

The Falcons trailed 69-59 with 1:23 remaining in regulation, but outscored the Lobos 6-0 over the next 60 seconds, capped off by a three-point play from senior Katie Hilbig (Castle Rock, Colo.). While New Mexico pushed its lead back to five points with a free throw on its next possession, a basket by Dymond James (Sr., Brambleton, Va.) cut the margin to 70-67 with 6.3 seconds remaining. The Falcons were unable to come up with a quick steal and the Lobos knocked down two more free throws to ice the victory.

Senior Alicia Leipprandt (Ubly, Mich.) scored 19 points to lead the Falcons, Cherae Medina (Jr., Denver, Colo.) added 15 points and James registered her fourth double-double of the year with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

For the Lobos, Antiesha Brown led three players in double figures scoring, finishing with a game-high 26 points, hitting five shots from long range.

New Mexico shot 50 percent from the field in the opening half to go into the locker room with a narrow 36-32 lead. In the second period, the Lobos took advantage of the Falcons’ turnovers and knocked down timely three-pointers to maintain their lead. Meanwhile, Air Force was unable to convert its free throw opportunities, hitting just 8-of-17 foul attempts in the final stanza.

Led by James’ 14 rebounds, the Falcons outrebounded the Lobos, 40-30, for the game, but New Mexico shot over 48 percent from the field, including 53.8 percent from downtown.

Air Force is back in action on Saturday, Feb. 9, when it hosts Nevada in a 2:00 p.m. contest. The Falcons will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, with a special sports clinic being held prior to the game.