USAF ACADEMY — Air Force men’s basketball (9-7, 2-3 MW) fended off UNLV (10-8, 2-3) for a 69-62 win in Mountain West action Thursday night at Clune Arena. Freshman Ethan Taylor notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Falcons.
Air Force led by double digits for much of the second half, but UNLV stormed back late to get to within four points on two occasions with less than three minutes to play. Senior AJ Walker then hit a pair of buckets, which included a three-point basket to put the Falcons back up by nine. UNLV got to within four with a three from Bryce Hamilton with 51 second to play. Air Force was able to make five free throws the rest of the way out to pull away.
For the second straight game, Air Force shot 50 percent or better from the field and out-rebounded its opponent.
The Falcon bench had a big night, scoring a season-high 28 points. Freshman Jeffrey Mills was a key contributor with a career-high 13 points. Junior Camden Vander Zwaag added eight points in nine minutes.
Taylor, who earned MW freshman of the week honors earlier in the week, notched his second-career double-double. Taylor also stuffed the stat sheet by leading the Falcons with six assists and two steals, in addition to playing 39 minutes. Walker was the third Falcon in double-figures with 14 points, all coming in the second half.
Hamilton and Donovan Williams combined to score 51 of UNLV’s 62 points. Hamilton finished with 32 points and Williams added 19.
After trailing by as many as nine points early, Air Force closed with a 24-7 run to lead 33-25 at the half. The Falcons held UNLV without a basket over the final 10:15 of the first half.
The Falcons have little time to rest, as they return to action Saturday, Jan. 22, hosting RV/#23 Colorado State. Tip time is noon, MT and the game will be televised by FS1.