FACTS & STATS: Site: McAlister Field House (6,000) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Air Force 0-0, The Citadel 1-0. Away Record: Air Force 0-0, The Citadel 0-0. Neutral Record: Air Force 1-0, The Citadel 0-0. Conference Record: Air Force 0-0, The Citadel 0-0. Series Record: The Citadel leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Air Force Falcons try to repeat as champions of the All- Military Classic as they face off against The Citadel Bulldogs in the championship round this afternoon at McAlister Field House in Charleston, South Carolina.
A member of the Mountain West Conference, the Falcons took down Army in the first game of the tourney on Saturday afternoon by a score of 76-65 which means Air Force now has a record of 27-30 in season openers. Even though the squad is just 7-22 in such games away from home, the Falcons have triumphed in 10 straight season openers.
As for the Bulldogs, a program that logged a grand total of just six victories all of last year, they tackled VMI in the second game yesterday, 84-76. The scoring total for The Citadel is the most since the school dropped 91 in a 17- point victory over UVA-Wise back on Jan. 2, 2012. Last year the Keydets defeated the Bulldogs in the season opener, 103-100.
In terms of the all-time series between these two schools, the Bulldogs have won both previous encounters. The first victory was by just a single point (61-60) in 1971 and the other a 65-61 triumph for The Citadel in 1994.
Last season the Falcons won this tournament by first taking down Army in an 87-71 decision and then topping VMI by a score of 75-65.
Michael Lyons scored a game-high 19 points, leading four starters in double figures, as the Air Force Falcons fought their way back for a 76-65 win over the Army Black Knights in season-opening action on Saturday afternoon. Also scoring in double digits for the Falcons were Todd Fletcher with 16 points, Taylor Broekhuis 14 and Kyle Green 11 points in the triumph. Lyons became the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau with his effort and now just needs two more points to pass Rick Nickelson who sits in 22nd place on the all-time scoring list for the Falcons. In addition to holding Army to only 36.5 percent shooting from the floor and 10-of-34 (.294) behind the three-point line, Air Force also outscored the competition at the free-throw line, 20-9.
Mike Goselle delivered a huge double-double with 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds as The Citadel topped the VMI Keydets by nearly double digits in the second game of first-round action yesterday. Also scoring in double figures for the Bulldogs were Marshall Harris III and Matt Van Scyoc with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Harris also handed out a game-high nine assists and made good on all but one of his 13 free-throw attempts. The Bulldogs started off a bit slow in the meeting, shooting just 38.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 2-of-11 out on the perimeter, but in the second half the hosts got it straightened out by making good on 60.7 percent from the floor and 5-of-8 on the outside. A key factor for the Bulldogs, who suffered through 19 turnovers, was a 23-8 scoring advantage at the free-throw line on the afternoon.
The Bulldogs showed quite a bit of spunk in their win yesterday, but Air Force simply has more talented personnel right now, although that's not to say The Citadel won't go down without a fight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Air Force 68, The Citadel 60
11/11 10:47:01 ET
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