Air Force Defeats San Jose State On Senior Night, 58-54

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:20 PM MST
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USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force men’s basketball (11-17, 4-13 MW) held off San Jose State (8-21, 1-16 MW), 58-54, in Mountain West action Tuesday on senior night at Clune Arena. Senior guard AJ Walker led Air Force with 15 points and freshman center Lucas Moerman added a double-double.

In a game that was back and forth with seven lead changes, it was Air Force that was able to come out on top.

The Falcons took control of the game late, taking the lead with a made basket and free throw by Moerman to make it a 42-41 Air Force lead with 7:19 to go. The Falcons never trailed again but San Jose State made it close.

Air Force led by as many as six with 21 seconds to go. But the Spartans got two quick baskets to cut it to a one point game with five seconds to play. The Falcons were able to seal the game with a made free throw by Walker and two more by freshman guard Jake Heidbreder.

Walker played his final game at Clune Arena with the team-high 15. He also added four rebounds.

Moerman scored 10 points and had a career-high 12 rebounds for his first-career double-double. He also had four blocked shots to give him a tie for the school record with 21 blocks in conference play. His 41 blocks on the season overall moved him into second-most in a season.

Heidbreder was the third Falcon in double figures with 10 points, for his sixth straight in double figures. Heidbreder set a new Air Force freshman record with 194 points in Mountain West play.

Fellow freshman Ethan Taylor added five assists and sophomore guard Joseph Octave scored seven points and had three steals.

Air Force had a strong game defensively, holding the top three-point shooting team in the conference to just four made three’s. The Falcons also held the Spartans to 37 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent from three. Center Ibrahima Diallo scored 10 points and 13 rebounds and guard Myron Amey Jr. added 18.

Air Force and San Jose State played to a 26-26 tie at halftime. After allowing the first basket, the Falcon defense clamped down, holding the Spartans without its second basket until the 11:23, mark and jumping out to a 9-2 lead.

San Jose State got back in the game by going inside, erasing the big Falcon lead. Diallo notched a double-double by halftime with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Spartans had 22 points in the paint in the first half.

Prior to the game, Air Force honored its seniors with a video and presentation. The senior class of 2022 consists of guard AJ Walker and forward Abe Kinrade.

Air Force returns to action at the 2022 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championships, which begins Wednesday, March 9 and concludes Saturday, March 12. They will be the 10-seed and play the seven-seed at 1:30 pm PT.Copyright 2022 KKTV. All rights reserved.