Stanford Stumbles Versus Air Force, 79-45

Nov. 15, 2006

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Jacob Burtschi scored 12 of his 24 points in the opening eight minutes and also grabbed 12 rebounds for his third career double-double, leading Air Force to a 79-45 rout of Stanford on Wednesday night in the second round of the CBE Classic.

Matt McCraw added 11 points and five assists for the Falcons, who advance to play No. 11 Duke in the tournament semifinals Monday night in Kansas City. But first they must return home and travel to Colorado on Saturday, starting a whirlwind stretch that will end with a home game next Wednesday night.

Air Force (3-0), which survived a sloppy performance in its opening-round 69-68 win over Long Beach State on Tuesday, pushed the pace, zipped the ball around the perimeter to produce open looks and went hard to the glass to limit Stanford's second chances.

McCraw and Burtschi combined to score the first 11 points for the Falcons, whose first three field goals were 3-pointers as they quickly built a big lead. Air Force is picked to finish third in the Mountain West Conference after reaching the NCAA tournament last season and tying for second place in the conference with BYU.

Stanford freshman 7-footer Robin Lopez, whose twin brother Brook is sidelined recovering from September back surgery, had several putback chances in the first half he couldn't convert for cold-shooting Stanford. He finished with 10 points - Stanford's lone player to score in double figures - and eight boards before fouling out with more than 6 minutes left.

Air Force coach Jeff Bzdelik called for his team to 'keep it simple' on offense - a strategy that worked well. And the Falcons flustered Stanford (2-1) on the other end with their effective matchup zone, holding the Cardinal to 30 percent from the floor.

Burtschi shot 9-for-10 in the first half and the Falcons went 70.8 percent from the field on the way to a 45-21 halftime lead. Air Force also took care of the ball, committing only two turnovers in the first 20 minutes after having 14 in the opening half a night earlier.

Stanford got no points from its bench in the first half and managed only nine field goals. It was the first meeting between the schools since Stanford's 58-52 home victory on Nov. 29, 1980.

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