Lavelle Scottie’s 17 points led four Air Force seniors in double figures, as the Falcons topped Army 69-57 at West Point to stop a five-game skid in the series and turn the tables from a year ago.
Last year Air Force squandered a 17-point home lead in a loss to the Black Knights. On Tuesday it was Army coughing up an early 10-0 lead at home. Caleb Morris and Chris Joyce took turns hitting back-to-back 3s in the second half, as the Falcons built and maintained a lead. Morris, Sid Tomes and Ryan Swan each scored 10 points, with Swan adding 10 rebounds and five steals.
five facts from the win
Career win No. 100 for Pilipovich
Air Force’s victory gave coach Dave Pilipovich his 100th career victory, all coming with the Falcons. Pilipovich joins Bob Spear (177 wins from 1956-71), Reggie Minton (150 wins from 1984-2000), and Hank Egan (148 wins from 1971-84) as Air Force coaches with 100 victories. Pilipovich, who took over midseason in 2012, is 100-132.
3-point line pointing the way
Air Force shot 9 of 25 from the 3-point line, outscoring Army 27-15 from deep in the 12-point victory. So far this season, that has been the telling stat for the Falcons. In their two wins, they’ve outscored Texas State and Army 63-24 from 3. In the loss to Idaho State, they were outscored 36-3 from long range.
Slow start quickly overcome
Air Force fell in a quick 10-0 hole over the opening 3 minutes, 14 seconds before a Chris Joyce 3-pointer jump-started the offense. The Falcons took their first lead at 20-19 with 7:37 remaining in the first half on a Lavelle Scottie layup.
Army had won five straight in the series, beginning with an 85-78 victory at Army on Nov. 14, 2014 that snapped a three-game Falcons’ winning streak between the service academies. This was Air Force’s first victory in four tries at Christl Arena. Army leads the series 7-5.
Women up next
Air Force owns victories this month over Army in football and men’s basketball.
The women’s basketball team will take a shot at it next, as coach Chris Gobrecht’s squad hosts the Black Knights at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Clune Arena.