Air Force Hosts UNLV on Saturday Afternoon

Feb. 24, 2012

The Air Force women's basketball team returns home this Saturday, Feb. 25, for a 2:00 p.m. contest versus UNLV.

Live Stats/Video:
Series History: UNLV leads, 27-4
• Play4Kay - All fans wearing pink in honor of the WBCA's "Play4Kay" initiative, which is aimed to encourage breast cancer awareness, will receive free admission to Saturday's game.
• Giveaway - Free commemorative pink Air Force T-shirts will be given out, while supplies last.

With their lowest scoring output of the season, the Falcons dropped a 61-31 contest to TCU Wednesday evening in Fort Worth. Junior Dymond James registered six points and a team-best seven rebounds to lead Air Force, while three other players--Jamela Satterfield, Austyn Wilson and Jimi Blagowsky--also scored six points each.

Air Force enters this weekend's contest with a 5-22 overall mark and 0-12 ledger in the Mountain West.

Junior Alicia Leipprandt is the Falcons' leading scorer on the season, averaging 12.8 points per game, while classmate Dymond James is right behind with 12.4 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds per contest. In conference play, James leads the Falcons in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

UNLV currently holds a 20-8 overall record and an 8-4 record in the Mountain West. The Lady Rebels are coming off a 75-66 road victory over Boise State.

Kelli Thompson leads UNLV with 13.1 points per contest, while Lenita Sanford adds 11.3 points per game. Meanwhile, Jamie Smith is the team's leading rebounder, averaging 8.2 boards per game.

In the latest conference statistics, Air Force ranks third in the Mountain West in defensive rebounds (24.4) per game.

In the latest conference statistics, UNLV ranks second in the Mountain West in scoring margin (+4.7), rebounding offense (40.6), rebounding margin (+5.0), offensive rebounds (16.4) and offensive rebounding percentage (.421), while ranking third in scoring offense (62.2), steals (9.2) and turnover margin (+0.6).

Struggling with poor shooting in the second half, Air Force fell to UNLV, 63-47, on Jan. 28 in Cox Pavilion.

Junior Dymond James led the Falcons with a game-high 14 points, while sophomore Megan O'Neil added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Four different players scored in double figures for the Lady Rebels, led by Mia Bell and Kelli Thompson with 11 points each.

The Falcons never held a lead against the Lady Rebels, but were able to keep it close throughout most of the opening half, getting within one point with 2:01 remaining before the break. However, UNLV closed out the period with an 8-0 run to take a 31-22 advantage into the intermission.

The Lady Rebels increased their margin to 13 points early in the second half, but Air Force put together a 9-0 run of its own to get back within four points. Still, UNLV was able to regain control of the game, pushing its advantage back to double digits.

UNLV outshot and outrebounded Air Force for the game, but the Falcons forced the Lady Rebels into 24 turnovers, just one off their season high. Air Force also registered a season-high seven blocks, led by a career-high four blocked shots from O'Neil.

Saturday's game versus UNLV has been designated as Air Force's official "Play4Kay" game. In honor of the game, fans who wear pink will receive free admission to the contest, while the Falcons themselves will wear their special pink uniforms.

The WBCA began the Play4Kay program, formerly known as the PinkZone, in 2007 as an initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities. The late Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head women's basketball coach, served as the catalyst for the initiative after her third reoccurrence of breast cancer in 2006.

With two games remaining in the Mountain West regular season, just two seeds for this year's conference championship have been locked up. San Diego State has clinched the top seed, while Air Force will face the Aztecs in the opening round as the eighth seed.

Meanwhile, spots 2-7 are still to be determinded. UNLV and Colorado State, who meet on Wednesday evening, are currently tied for second in the conference standings with eight wins each, while TCU and Wyoming are tied for fourth with seven wins each. Boise State is currently sixth with four wins on the season, while New Mexico is in striking distance of the Broncos with three season victories.

The biggest factor in Air Force's loss against TCU on Wednesday was its poor shooting from the field. The Falcons connected on just 9-of-52 attempts from the field, for their lowest single-game field goal percentage (.173) in program history.

Air Force scored a season-low 31 points against TCU on Wednesday night, marking the fourth time this season that the Falcons have scored under 40 points in a game. It was also the lowest scoring output for Air Force since March 2009, when the Falcons scored just 31 points in an 11-point loss to BYU.

The Falcons close out the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 29, as they host New Mexico in a 7:00 p.m. contest.