It was a nice problem for Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy to have Saturday when he was asked to think about the players who had stepped up to finally send the Air Force Falcons home on the short end of the score. Take your pick. Certainly forward J.J. Avila couldn't be overlooked with 21 points, including a free throw with 20 seconds left that stretched CSU's lead to three points at 71-68. Or guard David Cohn, who hit two free throws six seconds later to make it a five-point advantage. But the clincher for the Rams (12-7, 3-3 Mountain West) probably was an eight-point salvo, including two 3-point field goals, by guard Daniel Bejarano that secured a 74-68 CSU victory over Air Force (9-8, 3-3) before 4,296 at Moby Arena. Bejarano's barrage began with the Falcons leading 61-60 with 3:26 to play, and when it ended the Rams led 68-64 with 1:15 to go. Bejarano finished with a game-high 27 points. "They wanted me to shoot the shots," Bejarano said of his teammates, who got him the ball. "They found me, and they have confidence in me. I have confidence in myself. I want the ball." With the four-point lead, the Rams fought off Air Force's desperation attempt to tie the game. The Falcons failed to score again after forward Kamryn Williams' two free throws with 23 seconds left. "This was a good win for us," Eustachy said. "Air Force is among the top teams in our league. I thought they were going to run away with it when they took the lead in the second half. We had a lot of players step up." The Falcons had something going midway through the second half. With two three-point plays and a 3-pointer by Max Yon, Air Force took a 61-56 lead with 5:32 left in the game. But the Rams came right back, and took a 62-61 lead on Bejarano's two free throws. "We lost them a few times there late in the game," Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich said. "They made the big play late, and we came up short. Our effort was great."
CSU Rams defeat Air Force Falcons
Denver Post | Jan 19