Jan 20, 2011 2:19 AM by USAFA
USAFA, Colo. - Led by senior captain Raimee Beck (Blackfoot, Idaho), the Air Force women's basketball team broke its 40-game conference losing streak on Wednesday evening, pulling out a 61-58 victory over San Diego State at Clune Arena. With the win, the Falcons move to 6-11 overall on the year and 1-3 in the Mountain West Conference, while the Aztecs drop to 8-9 overall, 2-3 in the league.
Beck, who became Air Force's all-time leading scorer at the Division I level, finished the game with 14 points. Sophomore Alicia Leipprandt (Ubly, Mich.) added 13 points, including four in the last two minutes, while Dymond James (So., Brambleton, Va.) added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Air Force's win over San Diego State was its first against a Mountain West Conference team since March 3, 2008, when the Falcons defeated BYU, 54-40. Meanwhile, the Falcons were also able to break a six-game losing streak to the Aztecs, dating back to the 2006-07 season.
The contest was a back-and-forth affair throughout, featuring 14 ties and 17 lead changes. Each team led by as many as five points in the first half, but at the intermission, the score was deadlocked, 36-36.
In the second half, neither team lead by more than three points. San Diego State took its final lead of the game, 56-55, with 3:24 remaining on a made free throw by Jessika Bradley. A minute later, Beck knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Falcons back on top, while Leipprandt's basket with two minutes to play gave Air Force a 59-56 advantage.
While the Aztecs were able to get back within one point with 44 seconds left on the clock, Air Force managed to keep possession of the ball, with Leipprandt scoring a pair of free throws with 16.1 seconds remaining. With strong defense on the other end of the court, the Falcons were able to capture the 61-58 victory.
Air Force's biggest advantage against San Diego State on Wednesday came at the charity stripe. While attempting just three more free throws in the game, the Falcons shot 72.2 percent from the line, while the Aztecs connected on just 46.7 percent of their shots from the stripe. The rest of the statistical categories were fairly even, with San Diego State holding a slight edge in three-point field goal percentage, rebounds, assists and turnovers, while Air Force had the advantage in field goal percentage, fouls and steals.
The Falcons return to action this Saturday when they head to Laramie, Wyo., to face Wyoming in a 2:00 p.m. contest.