Cadets at the Air Force Academy are used to flying high, but this is ridiculous.
Michael Lyons, who has been a scoring machine all season long for the Falcons, put on a big-time show for his home crowd, scoring 45 points in a 89-86 shootout loss to Mountain West leader Colorado State today. His line was predictably insane: 17-25 from the floor overall, 6-13 from deep and 5-9 from the free throw line. He did little else but score, grabbing just two boards and one steal, and giving away two turnovers to zero assists.
Lyons’ performance was the third highest individual point total this season, just behind Nate Wolters (53 points) and Travis Bader (47), both of whom ply their trade in the Summit League.
The Rams, who have held steady atop the wild Mountain West, countered Lyons’ heroics with the solid team play they’ve become known for under Larry Eustachy. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Dorian Green’s 22.
This was a huge win for Colorado State, running their winning streak to six straight games. The Rams – 8-2 in league play and currently No. 24 in the nation – are trying to keep pace with N0. 19 New Mexico, which takes an identical 8-2 record into a home game against Boise State tonight. Should the Lobos stumble, CSU will be in the driver’s seat.
Lyons’ Falcons fell to 6-5 in the league and will likely have to run the table in the MWC tournament to get a shot at the Big Dance.
Eric Angevine is editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.