LAS VEGAS — The Air Force Falcons tipped off their 2020 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championship in dominant fashion with a 60-48 win over in-state rival Colorado State.
The Falcons were 3-20 heading into this year's conference tournament, but now have won 6 out of their last 8 games. Two of the six wins have been against the Rams, as they have beaten CSU three times Mountain West tournament play.
"This team, these guys have been doing some great things for a couple of months now," said head coach Chris Gobrecht. "And statistically I've been fairly pleased with how we've been playing. At no point was I necessarily upset with how they were playing. We just knew we had to start clicking a little bit offensively. And that happened in February. We started to click offensively and we haven't looked back since."
The Falcons had a balanced offensive attack with four players reaching double figures in scoring, led by 15 apiece from sophomore guard Briana Autrey-Thompson and sophomore forward Riley Snyder.
Air Force junior guard Emily Conroe registered her sixth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"I think, honestly, going into that unknown with such a young group of players, knowing that we could be here next year, too, gives us that extra boost of confidence to just trust each other and do everything we can to make a run here," said Air Force junir guard Kaelin Immel.
The Falcons will not have less than 24-hour till they face off against Boise State on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals.
"I do think being cadet at the Air Force Academy gives you that ability to push through adversity and push through just being tired and tough times like that," said Immel. "So I think us knowing how to do that, having that mental toughness will be able to push us through being tired, maybe having no legs, stuff like that. So I think we'll be ready. And I think it's really just how tough are you."
"I have happens to have a big jacuzzi right in the middle of my room. I'm not sure why. But, so, I'm thinking how many of them I could put in there to have an ice bath or something," added Gobrecht.