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New Mexico vs Air Force

Air Force sinks No. 12 New Mexico on last-second 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- With one long jump shot, senior day turned into a dream for Todd Fletcher.

The Air Force guard took a pass from fellow senior Michael Lyons and hit a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining to give the Falcons an 89-88 victory over No. 12 New Mexico on Saturday.

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Tony Snell's 3-point attempt from the right wing clanged off the iron as time expired, and Falcons fans stormed the court to celebrate the program's first win over a top 12 team. Fletcher's clutch shot came seconds after New Mexico's Kendall Williams missed the back end of a 1-and-1.

"I'm still in shock," said Fletcher, who was lifted above the crowd by former Air Force linebacker Alex Means after the game. "I don't know how Michael made the shot before - that was unbelievable. So of course, three people jumped out on him and no one was guarding me.

"I shot it, and it went in. It felt dang good, that's for sure."

The Lobos (26-5, 13-3 Mountain West) led 87-83 with 19 seconds remaining after a pair of free throws by Williams. Lyons, the conference's leading scorer, hit a long, contested 3 with 12.1 seconds left to cut the deficit to one.

"It doesn't get much better than that," said Lyons, one of five Air Force seniors. "This senior class is like family, and we've been through some ups, some lows and some deep lows. This is a great win over a great team, but we've still got a lot more basketball to play."

Fletcher finished with a career-high 21 points and Lyons led the way for Air Force (17-12, 8-8) with 30. Marek Olesinski was 5 of 5 from the field off the bench for a career-high 15 points - all in the first half.

It was the second win over a Top 25 opponent for Air Force this season, and the Falcons finished 13-2 at Clune Arena. Air Force entered 3-79 against ranked opponents.

"I told the players this, and I mean this: If I never coached another game in my life, it'd be OK," Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich said. "This team has beaten three ranked teams in about a year, with some stupid coaching. That was pretty neat. Wow!"

The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for New Mexico and ended the Lobos' 13-game winning streak against the Falcons. Williams had 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Lobos. Snell hit seven 3-pointers for 21 points, and Alex Kirk added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The game was a back-and-forth sprint that featured 10 ties and seven lead changes, with the teams combining for a conference-record 30 3-pointers. Air Force was 15 of 31 from 3-point range, with New Mexico going 15 for 33.

"It wasn't one of our best defensive efforts," New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. "Our defense is a lot better than it was tonight, but I do give Air Force a lot of credit. We score 88 points ... we should win games."

New Mexico had 29 assists on 34 baskets against only eight turnovers. Air Force had 23 assists and just six turnovers. The Lobos narrowly outshot Air Force 58.6 percent to 56.4 percent, but the Falcons finished with a 29-9 advantage in bench points.

"It was just great shooting overall tonight," Fletcher said. "It was a good game to a be part of, that's for sure."

The score was tied 47-all at halftime.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Air Force Academy players celebrate with fellow cadets following the Falcons' 89-88 upset win over No. 12 New Mexico. (AP)
Air Force Academy players celebrate with fellow cadets following the Falcons' 89-88 upset win over No. 12 New Mexico. (AP)

 
Scoreboard
New Mexico #12 (26-5)474188
Air Force (17-12) «474289
NMEX:T. Snell 21 Pts
NMEX:A. Kirk 11 Reb
NMEX:K. Williams 10 Ast
AF:M. Lyons 30 Pts
AF:T. Broekhuis 7 Reb
AF:M. Lyons 5 Ast
 
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
New MexicoAir Force
NMEX
Kendall Williams
AF
Michael Lyons
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
212103045
New Mexico Lobos
A. Kirk, F-C358-110-0113316
T. Snell, G357-130-017121
K. Williams, G316-105-6210121
H. Greenwood, G313-80-04219
C. Bairstow, F196-60-172412
C. Adams, G-F224-60-21129
J. Fenton, G90-20-20010
C. Thomas, G80-00-00200
K. Alford, G50-20-00010
N. Banyard, F40-00-00120
C. Perez, G10-00-00100
D. Walker, GDid Not Play
M. Lindsay, GDid Not Play
D. Williams, G-FDid Not Play
Totals 34-585-1126291688
 58.6%45.5% 
Air Force Falcons
T. Fletcher, G377-91-243321
M. Fitzgerald, F352-81-11315
M. Lyons, G3511-214-645230
T. Broekhuis, C232-20-07204
K. Green, G180-20-00410
M. Olesinski, F175-51-201115
K. Williams, F131-32-24224
C. Michael, G92-40-01115
D. Earls, F71-10-01132
J. Hammonds, F30-03-42103
T. Coggins, G30-00-00000
C. Kammerer, FDid Not Play
E. Michael, FDid Not Play
S. Adler, GDid Not Play
M. Yon, GDid Not Play
A. LaLonde, GDid Not Play
M. Leipprandt, FDid Not Play
C. Litt, F-CDid Not Play
Z. Moer, CDid Not Play
D. Salomon, CDid Not Play
S. Vernon, FDid Not Play
Totals 31-5512-1724231489
 56.4%70.6% 
Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
San Diego St16-231-5
New Mexico15-327-7
UNLV10-820-13
Nevada10-815-17
Boise St.9-921-13
Wyoming9-918-15
Fresno St.9-921-18
Utah St.7-1118-14
Colorado St.7-1116-16
Air Force6-1212-18
San Jose St.1-177-24
 
Other games
NW 71 Final
MEMP 86
SYR 39 Final
GU 61
FLA 57 Final
UK 61
LAS 54 Final
STL 78
KSU 70 Final
OKST 76
PITT 81 Final
DEP 66
MU 69 Final
SJU 67
UCLA 61 Final
WASH 54
CLEM 49 Final
MIAMI 62
ORE 62 Final
UTAH 72
ND 57 Final
LOU 73
AZST 58 Final
ARIZ 73
KAN 58 Final
BAYL 81
DUKE 69 Final
UNC 53
LOYMRY 48 Final
GONZAG 66