Air Force men have big rally only to fall in OT at Nevada

February 1, 2014 Updated: February 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm
photo - Nevada's AJ West, right, blocks a shot by Air Force's Hayden Graham during an NCAA college basketball game in Reno, Nev., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Nevada won 69-56 in overtime. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
Nevada's AJ West, right, blocks a shot by Air Force's Hayden Graham during an NCAA college basketball game in Reno, Nev., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Nevada won 69-56 in overtime. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison) 

RENO, Nev. - Air Force keeps upping the ante when it comes to disappointments.

After a two-week stretch that saw two blown leads and a suspended leading scorer, the Falcons suffered the most crushing blow yet in coming all the way back from an 18-point hole only to let Nevada take it right back in a 69-56 overtime defeat Saturday at the Lawlor Events Center.

"That one hurts," Falcons coach Dave Pilipovich said. "That's a game we could've, should've and definitely deserved to win after the way we came back."

Instead, as has been the case most of the season, Air Force walked away with a loss in a game it just couldn't finish.

The Falcons shot miserably in the first half, missing their first 14 3-pointers and shooting just 16 percent in the first 20 minutes. Nevada used that opportunity to open a lead that grew as large as 28-10 with 3:45 in the first half.

Air Force finally started hitting those shots and the game swung their direction after a 12-0 run to start the second half.

The Falcons took the lead for the first time at 39-38 on a dunk from Kamryn Williams with 12:12 remaining. The lead grew as large as three points on a few occasions, but the Falcons couldn't push it larger than that. Williams missed a 3-point attempt that would have made it a six-point game with 1:27 remaining. Nevada instead stayed in it and tied the game with 11 seconds left.

Air Force turned it over twice in the final 32 seconds and made just one field goal over the final seven minutes of action.

"We pretty much had the game in our hands and we threw it away with a couple turnovers," said Max Yon, who scored 19 points, tying Marek Olesinski for game-high honors. "But like I've been saying all along, we've got the potential and the ability to beat teams like this on the road, we've got to learn and grow from the experience of it and close them out."

Nevada did the closing out, with AJ West grabbing five rebounds - four on the offensive end - in an overtime period that Nevada dominated 15-2.

"Once we got to overtime I thought we had the momentum," Nevada coach David Carter said. "We've been in the position before where all you've got to do is take care of the ball, and when you don't and you go to overtime you lose a little bit of momentum. Going into overtime we were very excited."

Jerry Evans Jr. led Nevada with 17 points and added 10 rebounds. Cole Huff had 13 points, including in the tying shot with 11 seconds left. Deonte Burton scored 10 points and had seven assists with just one turnover and West finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The Falcons' bench was outscored 11-0 Saturday and 27-0 on a 0-2 trip that started at Boise State and was played without suspended point guard Tre' Coggins.

"We just haven't got that one guy who's going to say, 'We're not losing this game,'" Pilipovich said. "We got wide-eyed and started looking at each other and, unfortunately, we didn't have an answer for them and they made the plays at the end."

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