The Stalagian Report:
Post game commentary of the Falcon's 68-55 win over the Rebels on 2-19-06.
With the notable exception of our free throw shooting, this was the Falcon's
most complete game in weeks. Air Force went down 0-5 and then went on a streak
that was amazing in its breadth. John Frye just missed a 3 a couple of minutes
later or all 5 of our starters would've had a 3 during the run.
I think the most impressive part of our game was the low post defense. From my seat on the floor, it was really amazing to watch. Every time Amundsen or Villepigue got the inlet pass, we dropped a man to box him in AWAY fro the basket. They had no choice but to throw a jump pass out. Actually, Amundsen (an excellent player) managed to score a few times by splitting the defenders, but that was almost always because he traveled across the lane--something completely unnoticed by the pathetic refereeing crew that included my favorite ref (see earlier posts on AFAFalcons.com forum).
Special kudos to Marc Holum for playing such awesome defense while in his last home game. He was ferocious. Jake, John, and everyone else helped down low, too, constantly frustrating the Rebs.
I also think that I've never seen Air Force pass the ball better. We had a couple of plays that were beautiful in every respect except the finish. I hope some of you could picture them with Jim Arthur's call, but two stick out in particular. Once in the first half, we drove in of the left corner of the key and kicked the ball out to the far left corner. In about 0.5 seconds, the ball went around the horn to the far right corner. Four nearly trans-sonic passes each to a player more open than the man before, all tangent to the 3 point line. I can't remember who took the shot (sadly, it missed) but the whole crowd just ooh-and-aahed.
In the second half, on a fast break, Danny tossed a lob over the Reb player to Jake Burtschi streaking in from the right wing. It looked like it was going to be a monster slam but just as he was going up to snag the pass and go for the slam, Jake casually tipped the ball to a waiting John Frye who softly banked in the lay-up. Unfortunately, the ref called a foul on the Reb guarding Jake and it was all for naught, but it sure looked purdy.
This was a game of streaks, It wasn't until well into the first half that I think the teams traded individual baskets. Everything was done in streaks of 5, 6 or more. Every time UNLV approached, Air Force went on a streak and broke their backs. They closed to within 3 in the first--no, sir. The Falcons scored 6 straight to end the half.
This game was truly a team effort... Antoine Hood ('Toine) was an all-American driving the lane, but just when you thought he'd do it again, he'd unselfishly pitch out to Danny Nwaelele, Tim Anderson or Matt McCraw, etc for a 3. Jake did the same. Danny played with confidence and rebounded like a monster. Matt was solid throughout with some key RBs and assists as well. John didn't score much, but had one of his better RB days and played awesome D against the big men. Tim Andersen hit a huge 3 in the 2nd half and did a great job drawing fouls. One play in particular made his Reb defender look foolish... Tim sprinted by him with an inbounds pass, breaking the press himself. As he crossed the time line on a dead sprint, Tim swerved a little to his right (just in front of the Reb) and stopped on a dime. The Reb ran over Tim's back and was called. Not sure I've ever seen a "charge" drawn so well by an offensive player.
Erick Kenzik played some key minutes, too and looked good doing so. Air Force's depth is growing quickly, folks.
But, the night belonged to 'Toine. 10-13 from the field ain't bad. A fitting ending to a great career in Clune. Well done!
Now let's beat CSU, take the Tourney, and go into the Big Dance at 27-5!!!