USAF ACADEMY, Colo. Air Force men’s basketball dropped its season-opener to Idaho State, 89-79, Thursday night at Clune Arena. The Falcons fell despite shooting 52.9 percent from the field on the night.
Tarik Cool and Chier Maker combined for 62 points for the Bengals (1-1). Cool scored 41 on 11 field goals and a perfect 15 of 15 performance at the free throw line. Maker added 21 points.
A slow start had the Falcons down 11 at the half as the Bengals hit eight three’s to build a 42-31 lead.
Air Force fought back in the second half, as a 14-0 run propelled it to a 51-48 lead with 13:11 to play. The Falcons were unable to maintain the lead as Idaho State battled back. The Bengals took the lead on a three with eight minutes to play and never relinquished the lead.
The Falcons had a cold night from the three-point line, going 1 for 12, while the Bengals connected on 12.
Air Force had four players in double-figures scoring, led by sophomore AJ Walker’s 17 points. Chris Joyce and Ryan Swan scored 14 points each and Lavelle Scottie added 13. Scottie also led the Falcons with eight boards, three assists and two steals. Joyce added seven rebounds and Abe Kinrade gave the Falcons seven points and two steals off the bench.
The Falcons had a good night at the free throw line, making 88.9 percent. Air Force made its first 20 attempts to start the game.
Air Force returns to action Sunday, Nov. 9, hosting Texas State.