Air Force men downed by UNLV, 71-59

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Air Force men’s basketball fell to UNLV 71-59 Saturday night in Mountain West action at The Thomas & Mack Center. The Falcons fell to 7-8, 1-2 MW, while the Rebels improved to 8-8, 3-0 MW.

A 17-0 run midway through the first half helped propel UNLV to the win.

Air Force led by as many as 11, jumping out to a commanding 20-10 lead early. The Falcons hit on its first five three-point attempts to build the early lead.

The lead was unable to be maintained, as the 17-0 UNLV run over the next seven minutes found Air Force trailing 34-25. The Falcons went into the half down 34-27.

The Falcons were never able to overcome the Rebels and their defense, getting out-scored 37-32 in the second half.

Three Falcons reached double figures in scoring, led by senior Lavelle Scottie. Scottie scored 19 points on 5 of 9 shooting, adding a team-high six rebounds. Fellow senior Ryan Swan added 18 points and six boards. Sophomore guard AJ Walker was the third Falcon in double-figures, scoring 12 points to go with two rebounds and two assists.

Senior Sid Tomes led the Air Force bench with five points and three assists. Tomes also added three rebounds and hit a three.

Gaurd Amaury Hardy led UNLV with 21 points. Bryce Hamilton scored 15 points and Cheikh Mbacke Diong scored 12 points.

Air Force shot 34.6 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range. The Falcons made 10 three’s on the night, the sixth time this season they’ve gotten to double-digits in three’s made.

Air Force returns to action Tuesday, Jan. 7 hosting Utah State. Tip time is 9 pm MT, with the game televised by ESPN2.