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Air Force rallies in 2nd half against USD



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USAFA, Colo.—Air Force got a game-high 24 points from Max Yon and 19 points from Marek Olesinski to earn a 94-86 win against South Dakota Thursday night inside Clune Arena. The win snaps South Dakota’s three-game winning streak. The Falcons (4-4) improved to 3-3 during a season-long, eight-game home stand.

Casey Kasperbauer made a career-best six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 20 points to lead South Dakota (3-4). Trey Norris added 15 points, five assists and three steals. Trevor Gruis and Brandon Bos had 14 and 13 points, respectively.

South Dakota led 40-32 at the break, but committed 21 fouls in the second half and watched the Falcons make 26 of 33 free throws during the final 20 minutes of the game. USD had seven fouls in the first half, but were whistled for that many in the first five minutes of the second. All five USD starters had at least four fouls.

Hayden Graham was 3 of 3 from three-point range and scored all 10 of his points in the second half for Air Force. The Falcons were 15 of 25 from the field in the second half and 6 of 12 from three-point range. Both teams finished with 11 three-pointers.

Kasperbauer scored 14 second-half points in a three-minute flurry. He made all five shots he took in that span including four from beyond the three-point arc. When he had finished, the Coyotes held a 59-54 lead with 12:44 remaining.

Two free throws by USD forward Karim Rowson tied the game at 78-78 with 3:22 to go. Yon, Graham and Olesinski hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions to give Air Force an 87-80 lead with 1:32 remaining. The Falcons made 7 of 8 from the line from there to seal the win.

USD returns to the court Saturday at approximately 8:15 p.m. CST (7:15 p.m. local time) in Rapid City where the Coyotes will take on Wyoming in the second game of a USD women’s and men’s doubleheader at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
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