Considering the shooting woes that have plagued TCU this season, trying to turn its men’s basketball game against Air Force on Saturday into a s h o v i n g match seemed like a sound strategy. U n f o r t u - nately for the Horned Frogs, the Falcons were looking for a fight. Three days after being pushed around by Wyoming, Air Force did some bullying back Saturday during a 75-49 victory in which the Falcons hustled and played the unselfish basketball that has characterized their performances this season. They also stood up to TCU’s physical pounding in front of 4,541 at Clune Arena. “They’re a very physical team and for them to come out and push us around, it kind of felt good,” junior forward Jacob Burtschi said. “It made us remember what happened at Wyoming. We knew we had to fight right back, and it got our momentum going.” Though the result wasn’t surprising considering the records — Air Force improved to 15-2 (3-1 Mountain West), TCU fell to 4-13 (0-3) — the Falcons needed an authoritative victory coming off Wednesday’s 55-50 loss in Laramie. They got it by making 21 of 36 field goals, 21 of 26 free throws and by outrebounding TCU 28-20. Nobody was more instrumental in that area than Burtschi, who grabbed 13 boards to go along with 14 points — his second double-double of the season. “Jake was relentless, not to be denied on the boards,” coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “There’s no question about that, and everyone else was doing a good job of blocking people off. Everyone was in the fray, but Jake stood above everyone else in terms of his numbers. I thought we got back to doing the things we need to do to win.” Air Force trailed 21-20 with 6:14 left in the first half. But two 3-pointers by Matt McCraw — who turned his left ankle early in the game but returned to score 11 points — capped a 10-0 run to put the Falcons ahead for good. “We just had to concentrate on our defense,” said sophomore guard Tim Anderson, who led five Air Force players in double figures with 15 points. “That was one of our weak points against Wyoming, so we had to bounce back strong and our second team really prepared us well for this team in practice.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0258 or firstname.lastname@example.org NEXT Utah (8-7, 1-3 MWC) at Air Force (15-2, 3-1), 7 p.m. Thursday, 740 AM, 560 AM
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