DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Air Force men’s basketball defeated Holy Cross (1-3), 72-53, on Saturday afternoon to advance to the championship game at the Sunshine Slam held at the Ocean Center. The Falcons are enjoying their best start since 2017 at 3-1.
The Air Force led the game end to end in a strong defensive effort. The Falcons forced the Crusaders to make 21 turnovers, which led to a 27-6 points advantage over turnovers. The Air Force also didn’t allow a three-point basket, as Holy Cross went from 0 to 8 from a three-point range.
Senior AJ Walker led the Falcons with 27 points, a season-high. Second year Joseph Octave scored 12 points and freshmen Jake heidbreder and Ethan taylor with 11 each.
The Falcons took the early lead and held onto a 26-24 halftime lead. The Air Force took over in the second half, starting with a 15-3 streak to take the 41-27 lead with 13 minutes remaining. The Falcons racked up a 23-point lead in the second, as the defense cracked down on the Crusaders, while the offense continued to rack up buckets.
The Air Force shot 48% from the field and made nine threes. The Falcons held Holy Cross with 39 percent of shots. Guard Kyrell Luc led the Crusaders with 15 points.
The Air Force caps will play in the Sunshine Slam tomorrow against Bethune-Cookman, who won their game against Bryant earlier today. Tip time is 2:30 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast by Flo Hoops.