AP Sports Writer
|Air Force's Vernard Jenkins gets airborne as he guards Houston's Chad Hendrick during the first half at the Black Coaches Association Classic played at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston Salem, N.C. (AP Photo)|
Jarvis Croff scored 18 points and reserve Lamoni Yazzie added a career-high 12 over the final 9:04 as Air Force beat the Cougars 59-53 in the first round of the Black Coaches Association Classic on Nov. 16.
The win by Air Force spoiled the coaching debut of Ray McCallum, who took over for Clyde Drexler after seven winning seasons at Ball State.
The Falcons outscored Houston 33-3 from 3-point range and held the Cougars to two baskets over a 12-minute span to give former Princeton assistant Joe Scott
his season-opening win at Air Force. Air Force, 8-20 a season ago, built a 14-point lead with 13:29 left on a 3-pointer by Robert Todd, who had 13 points in his collegiate debut.
But the Cougars, despite missing their first 12 3-pointers, stormed back with a 12-0 run to close 39-37 before Yazzie scored seven points in 45 seconds on four free throws and a 3-pointer.
|Air Force's Selwyn Mansell and Houston's Marcus Oliver go to the floor during the first half. (AP Photo)|
Houston was playing without top returning scorer and rebounder George Williams, who had a strained left calf. Chad Hendrick led the Cougars, who are coming off a school-record 22 losses, with 14 points.
The Falcons missed seven straight shots early in the first half before building the lead to as many as seven.
The Cougars went through a dry spell, missing six shots and turning it over four times in a nearly nine-minute span, getting just five free throws before Marcus
Oliver's layup 47 seconds before halftime.