Fletcher Lifts Air Force Past Fresno St., 62-50

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP)- Todd Fletcher scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting including three 3-pointers and dished out five assists to lead Air Force to a 62-50 victory over Fresno State on Wednesday night.

Air Force (13-6, 4-2 Mountain West) trailed 13-10 mid-way through the first half but used a 20-10 run capped off by Fletcher's half-court shot at the buzzer to take a 30-23 lead at halftime. The Falcons never trailed again.

“We finished the half really well,” said Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich. “Todd (Fletcher) makes a half court shot to put us up seven, so we closed the half pretty good. We talked to our team about not letting it get under seven again. We scored the first possession to get it to nine and it never got under seven again. They are feisty, good team that is young. I knew they were going to keep coming back and they did.”

The Mountain West’s leading scorer, Michael Lyons, added 15 points and four rebounds for Air Force, which shot an even 50 percent from the field and outscored the Bulldogs 26-12 in the paint. Mike Fitzgerald added seven points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

Fresno State was led by Kevin Olekaibe who scored 18 points, all of which came from beyond the arc as he hit six 3-pointers. Tyler Johnson and Allen Huddleston scored 11 points apiece.

“This put us where we wanted to be,” said Pilipovich. “We’re 4-2 and we’re tied for second. Who knows if we’ll win another game, but we’re going to fight like heck. These guys have done a really good job and they deserve to have a good crowd here on Saturday to support them against a top 25-ranked team like San Diego State.”

The Falcons host the #22/20 Aztecs on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. SDSU and Air Force are both 4-2 in league play, two of four teams (UNLV and Colorado State) that are tied for second place, one game behind New Mexico.