Falcons Nearly Flawless in Win over Cougars

Mark Bigelow scored a season-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting Saturday against Air Force. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY -- Air Force opened with a 12-2 run and didn't look back as the Falcons defeated BYU 74-52 Saturday to extend their victory streak to 11 games. A Clune Arena record crowd of 6,359 watched the Falcons play nearly flawless basketball.

Air Force (13-2, 3-0) executed its "Princeton"-style offense to perfection in the first half, creating open three-point shots and layups. The Falcons hit 6-of-11 three-point attempts in the first half, while the Cougars struggled, hitting only 1-of-6 attempts.

"They took us out of the game in the first 20 minutes," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said. "They gave us a good whooping. They shot 72 percent tonight. You can beat anyone shooting 72 percent."

Air Force got on a roll early, gaining confidence that didn't leave them the whole game. The Falcons field goal percentage was their second-highest percentage ever and their best against a Division I opponent.

The Falcons also played an aggressive match-up zone, which helped create six Cougar turnovers in the game's first eight minutes. During that stretch, Air Force extended its lead to 20-7.

The Cougars would counter with a run of their own, cutting the lead to seven at 23-16, but Air Force put the game away with a 19-3 run to close the half with a 42-19 lead. BYU failed to score 20 points in the first half for the first time since scoring 15 points at Auburn on Nov. 23, 1998.

Air Force held BYU's leading scorer, Rafael Araujo, to just four points in the first half, while Falcon center Nick Welch lit up the Cougars for 11 points in the first 20 minutes and totaled 20 points for the game, including two three-pointers.

"Welch was the difference in the game tonight. He really stretched the defense," Cleveland said. "But all five of the guys on the floor can score and shoot so it makes it really hard to defend."

Mark Bigelow opened the second half scoring five straight points to cut the Falcon lead to 18, but BYU would get no closer and Air Force would extend its final margin of victory to 22 -- the Cougars' largest-ever dificit to the Falcons and their largest losing margin in a MWC regulars season game.

Bigelow finished the game with a season-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting to lead BYU, followed by Araujo who finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds.

BYU (12-5, 2-2) plays next against New Mexico at Albuquerque on Monday at 10 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

BYU vs Air Force

1/24/04 4:07 p.m. at Clune Arena -- USAFA, Colo.

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VISITORS: BYU 12-5, 2-2 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

01 HALL, Mike.......... f 0-3 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 0 2 24

03 BIGELOW, Mark....... f 6-10 1-3 6-8 0 5 5 2 19 0 3 0 0 35

55 ARAUJO, Rafael...... c 4-5 0-0 4-6 3 3 6 4 12 0 4 0 0 32

04 LEMES, Luiz......... g 1-4 0-1 1-4 0 1 1 2 3 2 1 0 1 36

10 NASHIF, Terry....... g 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 2 13

00 WOODBERRY, Kevin.... 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 17

02 ROSE, Mike.......... 2-7 2-7 3-3 0 0 0 1 9 0 1 0 0 19

05 SHOFF, Jake......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

13 AINGE, Austin....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 10

41 MEADS, Garner....... 2-3 0-0 1-1 2 3 5 4 5 0 2 0 0 11

TEAM................ 1 1

Totals.............. 16-37 3-14 17-24 6 14 20 18 52 6 13 0 5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 5-17 29.4% 2nd Half: 11-20 55.0% Game: 43.2% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-6 16.7% 2nd Half: 2-8 25.0% Game: 21.4% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 8-12 66.7% 2nd Half: 9-12 75.0% Game: 70.8% 4

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HOME TEAM: Air Force 13-2, 3-0 MWC

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

10 KUHLE, A.J.......... f 4-5 2-2 4-4 0 1 1 1 14 4 2 0 0 37

33 GERLACH, Joel....... f 2-3 0-1 1-1 1 3 4 4 5 1 2 0 1 26

45 WELCH, Nick......... c 9-10 2-2 0-3 0 4 4 2 20 5 1 2 3 34

11 KELLER, Tim......... g 4-9 2-5 2-3 0 2 2 1 12 2 1 0 0 32

15 HOOD, Antoine....... g 5-7 1-3 0-1 0 3 3 2 11 3 1 0 3 32

05 McCRAW, Matt........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 6

14 JENKINS, Marcus..... 2-2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 5 0 1 0 0 7

20 DILLINGER, Jared.... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 3

21 BURTSCHI, Jacob..... 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 1 0 0 0 11

24 TEETS, Ryan......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 3

34 NWAELELE, Dan....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

40 PETERSON, David..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3

42 BUCHANAN, Caleb..... 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 3

TEAM................ 1 1

Totals.............. 29-40 9-16 7-12 2 18 20 16 74 17 10 2 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-22 72.7% 2nd Half: 13-18 72.2% Game: 72.5% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-11 54.5% 2nd Half: 3-5 60.0% Game: 56.3% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 3-6 50.0% Game: 58.3% 0

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Officials: Stanley Reynolds, Randy McCall, Shawn Lehigh

Technical fouls: BYU-None. Air Force-None.

Attendance: 6359

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 19 33 - 52

Air Force..................... 42 32 - 74

ID-219041

Points in the paint-BY 8,AF 34. Points off turnovers-BY 15,AF 18.

2nd chance points-BY 5,AF 2. Fast break points-BY 0,AF 0.

Bench points-BY 14,AF 12. Score tied-0 times. Lead changes-0 times.

Tags: Results