No. 24 Air Force Routs Norfolk St. 70-47 - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

No. 24 Air Force Routs Norfolk St. 70-47

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AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) _ If the Air Force Falcons hit the books the way they did the nets, they should ace their finals next week. The 24th-ranked Falcons made 15 3-pointers Wednesday night in a 70-47 rout of Norfolk State, their last game until Dec. 23.

``It's going to be pretty tough,'' Matt McCraw said of the break for final exams. ``It was great to get a victory tonight to kind of help that out. Go up there, kind of get your mind off basketball a little bit and get your mind on academics. But it's definitely going to be a tough stretch for the team.''

Which is what made the latest win so satisfying, said Jacob Burtschi, who led the Falcons (11-1) with 14 points.

``I like the way we came out tonight. We really weren't looking forward to finals. I think a couple of times in the past we have. The game before was just real sluggish,'' Burtschi said. ``We took care of business. Everything is aside. All we've got to do is make it through these next five, six days for finals.

``Then, it's smooth sailing the rest of the year because nothing will be too bad after this.''

In the only other game involving a ranked team Wednesday, No. 7 Wisconsin routed Wisconsin-Milwaukee 68-49.

Air Force's 11 wins are tied with No. 15 Oklahoma State for the most in the nation.

The Falcons' sharp-shooting included a 3-pointer from John Frye, a 6-foot-10 senior center who had attempted just one 3-pointer before coach Jeff Bzdelik's arrival at the academy last year. He made 19 last season and has two this year, including the Falcons' most memorable one Wednesday night.

``I was laughing one time because as you can see, we're not very good running the fast breaks,'' Bzdelik said. ``But one time when we pushed the ball, we were able to quickly get in our offense and John Frye hit a 3. And I said to my staff, 'Now, that's a Falcon fast break.'''

The Falcons celebrated their return to the Top 25 by going 15-of-29 on 3s.

``It's rare that you see a whole five _ not even five, however many players they have _ that can shoot the 3 like that,'' said Tony Murphy, who led Norfolk State (1-5) with 15 points.

Seven Falcons connected from beyond the arc, where Air Force actually shot better (52 percent) than it did from inside (50 percent).

``That's the best shooting team I've ever seen,'' Spartans center Calvin Brown said.

And for good reason _ Bzdelik begins every practice with a barrage of 3s, a half hour's worth, followed by shorter-range jumpers.

``Sometimes we put music on. I love Motown. They've got accustomed to that. And we just shoot 3s to that. In a variety of ways,'' Bzdelik said. ``That's a major weapon of ours. It's just a major part of the offense, being able to space the court, and that allows backdoor cuts and opportunities to drive, and good opportunities to post up.

``And they're very unselfish. Threes have to be manufactured through unselfishness. We had 24 assists today on 26 baskets.''

No. 7 Wisconsin 68, Wis.-Milwaukee 49

At Madison, Wis., Alando Tucker scored 20 points for the Badgers (10-1), who beat No. 20 Marquette on Saturday for their first road win over a ranked team since 2002. They host No. 2 Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Paige Paulsen had 13 points for the Panthers (2-10), who lost their 14th straight to their instate rival.
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