Coming on the heels of last weekend’s 24-point home loss to Northern Colorado, the Air Force men’s basketball team’s start tonight against Charleston Southern was anything but confidence-inspiring.
After scoring the first two times they had the ball, the Falcons had twice as many turnovers (four) as baskets (two) on their next 11 possessions.
It looked as if an ugly 10-game losing streak to Division I opponents at Clune Arena – where Air Force not too long ago had a fearsome home-court advantage – would continue.
But the Falcons, playing without their top two centers, steadied themselves, began to handle the Buccaneers’ pressure and climbed back into the game. Down eight mid-way through the first half, Air Force forged a 2-point advantage at the break. Then, early in the second half, the Falcons went on a 12-0 run to take control of the game.
Now, beating Charleston Southern isn’t cause for a parade – in any season. But it was important for the Falcons to put last weekend’s dismal loss – in which Grant Parker said the Falcons “were just terrible” – behind them.
“That’s not the way we know we can play,” Parker said. “We played better tonight. And I’m thankful just for what we did tonight, but I think we can play even better.”
-Great bounce-back game for Parker. After missing all 10 of his shots from the floor against Northern Colorado (including seven 3s), Parker made 7-of-13 shots from the floor tonight.
“I just kept jacking up 3s last game,” Parker said. “And one of the things I need to improve on as a player is, if that’s not working, what do you do next, you’ve got to go down low. I didn’t do that against Northern Colorado, I tried to force it. And tonight, I kind of took what the defense gave me.”
-Finally healthy, junior Tom Fow gives the Falcons a sharpshooter from 3-point range – something they desperately need.
Fow scored 13 points tonight on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor (including 3-of-6 from 3-point range). He also did “the best job he’s done in our match-up zone,” Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said.
More on Fow this coming week in The Gazette.