Brigham Young 79, Air Force 72
PROVO, Utah (AP) _ Russell Larson scored a season-high 34 points as Brigham Young beat Air Force 79-72 Saturday night, keeping the Cougars’ hopes alive for a piece of the Western Athletic Conference title.
BYU (22-8 overall, 13-4 in the WAC) plays conference-leading Utah in Salt Lake City next Saturday. A Cougar win would leave the two schools tied atop the WAC.
The Falcons (7-18, 3-13) trailed just 36-33 at halftime and got as close as five points in the closing minutes before falling to the Cougars, who finished undefeated at home this season.
Air Force had to play most of the game without starting guard Reggie Minton, whose nose was broken three minutes into the game by an inadvertent elbow from BYU’s Craig Wilcox.
Otis Jones led Air Force with 28 points, while Chris Loll added 21.
Wilcox had 15 for the Cougars, 10 of them in the second half.
Larson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half and put the BYU lead at 44-35.
His dunk with about 4:30 remaining gave Larson his 29th point, putting fourth on the all-time BYU scoring list ahead of Fred Roberts. Roberts, who played 1978-82, scored 1,841 points during his BYU days.
Larson, who also had three blocks, ended the game with 1,848 career points.