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Jackets Fall To Air Force

Dec. 28, 2005

Final Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — John Frye made three 3-pointers in the second half to lift Air Force out of an awful shooting slump Wednesday night en route to a 54-46 victory over Georgia Tech.

Frye, a 6-foot-10 center, made a 3 with 3 1/2 minutes gone in the first half to snap a stretch of 12 minutes without a field goal for the Falcons.

He finished with 18 points and Air Force improved to 11-1 in coach Jeff Bzdelik’s first season, the best 12-game record in program history.

Jeremis Smith led Georgia Tech (5-4) with 12 points and Ra’Sean Dickey had 11 for the Yellow Jackets, who have only two upperclassmen on their roster and don’t nearly resemble the team that made the Final Four two seasons ago.

Of course, Air Force doesn’t look anything like the program it was when it signed the deal to play Georgia Tech a few years back.

Bzdelik has followed coaches Joe Scott and Chris Mooney in leading a revival of the long-struggling program. When this game was over, the Falcons screamed and yelled as they left the court, celebrating their second win this season over an Atlantic Coast Conference team — an accomplishment this program wouldn’t have dreamed about five or 10 years ago.

And while the Yellow Jackets were surely more athletic than the Falcons, their youth showed. They committed 19 turnovers to only six by Air Force.

One stat that can’t necessarily be attributed to youth: Air Force went 21-for-26 from the free-throw line, compared to 4-for-7 for Georgia Tech.

The Falcons attacked Georgia Tech the way they go after many teams that have bigger players and better jumpers, shooting 24 of their 44 field-goal attempts from 3-point range. Frye’s third 3 of the second half put Air Force ahead 38-32, a lead the Falcons didn’t relinquish.

Clinging to a three-point lead with 1:41 left, Jacob Burtschi scooped one in from the lane to push it back to five and essentially seal the game.

Burtschi and Matt McCraw each had 10 points for the Falcons.

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