Air Force Beats Red Raiders 67-53 in CBE Consolation Game

Source: AP
Source: AP

Matt McCraw scored 18 points and Air Force shut down Texas Tech in the second half of a 67-53 win in the third-place game of the College Basketball Experience Classic on Tuesday.

Dan Nwaelele had 13 points and Nick Welch added 11 for the Falcons (5-1), who again denied Texas Tech coach Bob Knight victory number 874.

The Red Raiders lost to No. 13 Marquette 87-72 in the semifinals on Monday, keeping Knight three wins shy of tying Adolph Rupp for second-most in Division I history. He is seven short of surpassing Dean Smith's record of 879.

Jarrius Jackson hit four 3-pointers and had 20 points to lead Texas Tech, which shot 50 percent from the field in the first half but went cold over the last 20 minutes.

The Red Raiders, plagued by poor shot selection and stifling defense in the paint, made only two field goals over the first 10 minutes of the second half. At one point, Texas Tech went nearly 5 minutes without scoring.

The Falcons took advantage of the drought, going on an 18-6 run fueled by two McCraw 3-pointers. After Andrew Henke scored on a short jumper, the Falcons led 51-39 with 12:28 to go in the game.

Texas Tech managed to get within 53-45 on Jackson's 3-pointer with just under 8 minutes to go, but Nwaelele and Jacob Burtschi answered with back-to-back 3-pointers and the Falcons never looked back.

Texas Tech, which was out-rebounded 39-20 by Marquette, struggled again on the boards -- this time against an undersized Falcons squad that only had 10 rebounds total in its 71-56 loss to No. 9 Duke on Monday.

The Red Raiders appeared to dominate the first half, hitting 13 of 26 field goals against an Air Force team that led the nation in scoring defense last year and had been holding opponents this season to an average of 39 percent shooting.

But offensive fouls and turnovers prevented Texas Tech from getting on a roll.

The Red Raiders used a 12-3 spurt early in the first half to build a 17-10 lead, but the Falcons responded with a 14-4 run of their own.

McCraw's 3-pointer and two free throws gave the Falcons a 24-21 lead with 7 1/2 minutes to go in the half, but Benny Valentine drilled a long 3-pointer of his own to tie the game.

The two teams traded punches the rest of the half, swapping the lead nine times. Jackson's running jumper in the lane with 11 seconds to go knotted the game at 33 at the break.

Source: AP