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San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher, left, turns away after conferring with guard James Rahon in the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Air Force at Air Force Academy, Colo., on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Top 25: Air Force 58, No. 13 San Diego State 56

First Published Feb 18 2012 04:51 pm • Last Updated Feb 19 2012 12:00 am

Air Force Academy, Colo. • Michael Lyons scored 27 points and Air Force upset No. 13 San Diego State 58-56 on Saturday when Xavier Thames’ off-balance 3-pointer fell short at the buzzer.

The Falcons (13-11, 3-7 Mountain West) won for just the second time in 74 games against a Top 25 team. The only other time they beat a ranked team was Feb. 15, 1992, No. 22 UTEP.

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The short-handed Aztecs (20-6, 6-4) lost their third straight, something they hadn’t done since 2008, a span of 124 games. The Aztecs fell two games behind conference leader New Mexico, which upset No. 11 UNLV 65-45 earlier Saturday.

The Aztecs got 17 points from Chase Tapley and 13 points and 11 rebounds from Tim Shelton, but they sorely missed Jamaal Franklin, their leading scorer (16.0) and rebounder (7.4), who sprained his left ankle in the closing minutes of a loss to New Mexico on Wednesday night and sat out Saturday’s game at Clune Arena.

The Aztecs lost another starter when 6-foot-11 forward Garrett Green turned his right ankle 8 minutes into the second half. He took a seat after scoring five points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

With Air Force clinging to a one-point lead, Todd Fletcher was fouled with 8.2 seconds left. He made the first free throws but missed the second and Shelton grabbed the rebound.

Thames was guarded tightly and his 3-pointer wasn’t close as time expired.




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