USAF ACADEMY, Colo. Air Force men’s basketball held off Boise State 85-78 in a hard-fought Mountain West win Wednesday night at Clune Arena. The Falcons won their third straight at home, improving to 9-9, 3-3 MW.
Air Force took the lead two minutes in on a jumper by Lavelle Scottie and never relinquished it. Air Force led by as many as 11, but Boise State (11-8, 3-4 MW) managed to get to within five points with less than four minutes to play. The Falcons closed out the game by making 14 of its last 15 free throws to seal the game. Air Force went 26-30 from the line, good for an 86.7 percentage mark.
Senior Lavelle Scottie led Air Force with 21 points, adding five rebounds. Scottie went 9 of 12 from the field as he surpassed the 20 point mark for the second-straight game.
Joining Scottie in double figures were AJ Walker, Ryan Swan and Sid Tomes. Walker scored 18 points, Swan 17 and Tomes 11.
Caleb Morris was the top scorer off the bench with eight points. Keaton Van Soelen added five points and tied a career-high with nine rebounds.
Abu Kigab led Boise State with 20 points. Derrick Alston added 16 and Alex Hobbs 13. Justinian Jessup also scored 11.
Air Force took a 42-34 halftime lead. The Falcons were bolstered by four free throws on double-technical fouls on Boise State head coach Leon Rice with 19 seconds to go before the half. Rice was ejected from the game after his second technical. Caleb Morris turned a four point game into eight by making all four free throws.
Air Force built several double-digit leads in the second half before Boise State came rallying back. The Broncos made it a two point game with 13:27 to play, but the Falcons pushed the lead back up to 11 with 8:53 to play. Boise State got to within five points with 3:45 to play, but the free throw shooting by Air Force was enough for the win.
The Falcons shot 50 percent from the field and 31 percent from three point range. Boise State shot 48.3 percent and 33.3 percent from three.
Air Force returns to action Saturday, Jan. 18 hosting Colorado State as part of its Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers game. The game tips at 2 pm MT and will be broadcast by AT&T SportsNet. Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of cancer awareness. Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich and his wife, Kelly, will donate one dollar for every person in attendance at the game to the Colorado Springs American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program.