USAF ACADEMY, Colo. Air Force men’s basketball defeated UC Riverside, 72-60, in its final non-conference game of the year Friday night at Clune Arena. The Falcons shot 55.6 percent from the field and improved to 5-7 on the season.
The junior post players of Lavelle Scottie and Ryan Swan led the Falcons with 29 combined points. Swan had a team-high 16 points, adding three rebounds. Scottie scored 13 points, grabbing three rebounds.
Sophomore Chris Joyce gave the Falcons nine points and a career-high eight rebounds off the bench. Sophomore Keaton Van Soelen tied a season-high with nine points, to go with five rebounds.
The 60 points by UC Riverside was the fewest Air Force has allowed in a game this season. Dikymbe Martin led the Highlanders with 17 points and Dragan Elkaz added 11.
After a back-and forth battle to start, the Falcons took the lead for good at the 12:53 mark, going up 14-13 on a jumper by Joyce. The Falcons extended the lead to 35-24 at halftime. Air Force went up by as many as 17 in the second half, cruising to the win.
The Falcons also shot the ball well from three-point range, connecting on 50 percent as a team. Seven different Falcons made a three, tying a season best also set against Missouri State.
Junior Sid Tomes scored eight points and added three assists. Sophomore Ameka Akaya scored seven points and freshman AJ Walker had five points and three assists.
Air Force returns to action Wednesday, Jan. 3, opening Mountain West play against New Mexico. Tip time is 7 pm MT and the game will be televised by AT&T SportsNet.