USAF ACADEMY, Colo. Air Force men’s basketball upended Utah State (13-5, 2-3 MW) in resounding fashion, posting a 79-60 win in front of a cadet-driven crowd of 4,563 Tuesday late night in Clune Arena. The win lifted the Falcons to 8-8 on the season and 2-2 in Mountain West play.
Senior Ryan Swan notched a double-double with 31 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way. Against a team that has three players on its roster over seven-feet tall, the Falcons out-rebounded the Aggies 50-29 overall and 13-7 on the offensive boards.
The Falcons trailed by as many as 12 points in the first-half. The 19 point win was a 31 point swing.
Trailing 34-22, early the Falcons went on a 9-0 run to close out the half and trail by three at 34-31.
Air Force then out-scored Utah State 48-26 in the second half to pull away. Down 39-35, a 16-0 run had the Falcons up by 12 at 51-39 with 13:48 to play. The Falcons took the lead for good on a three-point basket by senior Sid Tomes, which made it 40-39 with 16:27 to play.
Sophomore AJ Walker scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds. Tomes scored eight points and dished out a career-high six assists.
Keaton Van Soelen came off the bench and gave the Falcons nine points and eight rebounds. Chris Joyce also came off the bench to add eight points and four rebounds.
Brock Miller led Utah State with 16 points. Sam Merrill added 10 points. Merrill, the 2019 MW Player of the year and this season’s Preseason MW Player of the Year honoree, was held scoreless in the second half.
Air Force out-shot Utah State 47.5 percent to 36.5 percent. The Falcons also made 13 free throw’s to USU’s four.
The crowd of 4,563 was the biggest at Clune Arena since 2013.
Air Force returns to action Saturday, Jan. 11 at New Mexico. The game tips at 4 pm MT and will be broadcast via STADIUM and Facebook.