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UNLV takes down cold-shooting Air Force

Feb 21, 2007 - 7:49 AM LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Air Force kept going to its outside shot and came up with nothing but air.

Kevin Kruger scored 14 points and UNLV held the 13th-ranked Falcons to six second-half field goals in a 60-50 Mountain West Conference victory.

The Runnin' Rebels (23-6, 10-4 MWC) moved into a tie for second place with Air Force in the conference standings, one game behind Brigham Young.

Kruger, the son of coach Lon Kruger, also had a career-high 10 assists to register the first double-double of his career as UNLV won its 13th straight game at home and beat its highest-ranked opponent since a victory over Utah in March 1998.

With the Falcons flinging up 3-pointers on almost every possession, UNLV outscored Air Force, 12-4, over the final 9:50 to earn a split of the season series.

After Dan Nwaelele pulled the Falcons within 48-46 on a 3-pointer with 9:50 to play, Air Force managed just one field goal the rest of the way - a shot from the arc by Matt McCraw with 4:06 to play.

Corey Bailey hit a leaning jumper and Wendell White nailed back-to-back jumpers to extend the lead to 54-46 with 6 1/2 minutes left.

After a free throw by Air Force's Nick Welch, Joel Anthony dunked on an alley-oop pass and Kruger buried two free throws for the largest lead of the game, 58-47, with 4:49 to play.

The Falcons (23-5, 10-4) were dreadful after the break, hitting 6-of-31 shots overall and making just 4-of-23 from the arc. Overall, Air Force hit attempted a school-record 39 3-pointers, making 11.

That was in sharp contrast to the opening 20 minutes as Air Force made five of its final 3-point attempts to go to halftime trailing, 31-30.

Joel Anthony had 10 points and nine rebounds for UNLV, which didn't exactly shoot the lights out, connecting on 39 percent (21-of-54), but dominated the backboards, 44-29.

Nick Welch had 15 points and Nwaelele 14 for the Falcons, who tied a season-low 16 field goals in having their three-game winning streak snapped.

    --- --- -----
    AIR FORCE (13) 30 20 50
    UNLV 31 29 60 FINAL

    Feb 20 11:49 PM

    AIR FORCE (13) 30

    Feb 20 10:45 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 41 roots

    Air Force vs. UNLVFeb 20 10:45 PM