Lyons, a senior from Woodside High, shot 17-of-25 — including 6-of-13 from 3-point territory — and 5-of-8 from the free-throw line in 33 minutes, finishing with four fouls.
Dorian Green scored 22 points for Colorado State.
Air Force (15-9, 6-5) has lost three of its last four games.
Lyons sank a trio of 3-pointers for a personal 9-0 run that gave Air Force a 21-19 lead. He scored 25 points in the game's first 13 1/2 minutes.
The Falcons' last lead was 31-30, but Lyons kept them in contention. His final points came on a 3-point shot with 3 seconds remaining.
Christopher Newport fell behind 17-11 but controlled play thereafter in Danville, winning behind Tra Benefield's 20 points and nine rebounds, Nik Biberaj's 16 points and eight rebounds and Mike Cherry's 18 points, five rebounds and four assists.
CNU (17-5, 10-3) will play Sunday at Ferrum (13-9, 10-3) for the USA South regular-season championship and top seed in the tournament.
Justin Pierce paced the Cougars (9-15, 4-9) with 26 points.
Virginia Wesleyan (19-6, 14-2) overcame a 37-28 early second-half deficit at Batten Center to wrap up the top seed in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament. VWC holds the tiebreaker on co-leader Hampden-Sydney.
Menchville High graduate Chris Teasley and DJ Woodmore each had 15 points for the Marlins, who overcame 34-percent shooting by forcing 16 turnovers and committing just six.
Juvonte Reddic had 24 points — on 11-of-13 shooting — and 10 rebounds as VCU (21-5, 9-2) retained sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 with an 84-57 victory over
Darien Brothers hit a pair of free throws to put the
Cedrick Lindsay's 22 points and Greg Robbins' 20 led UR. Eric Mosley scored 30 for the Bonnies, who trailed 49-36 with about 12 minutes left in regulation.
R.J. Hunter scored 25 and Devonta White 23 to lead Georgia State to a 78-60 victory at
Keith Rendleman's latest double-double — 23 points and 11 rebounds — sparked
Jerrelle Benimon netted 17 points as Towson (15-13, 10-5) earned a 57-50 win at Hofstra (6-20, 3-10), which has lost nine of 10.
Dwayne Davis scored four consecutive points in overtime to help Southern Mississippi (20-6, 9-2
Norfolk Academy graduate D.J. Covington had 31 points and 15 rebounds for VMI (11-13, 6-6 Big South), but the Keydets lost 87-78 at Campbell (11-16, 6-7).
Andrew Ryan led the Camels with 27 points, and Virginia Beach's Trey Freeman had 14 assists. ...
Tristan Carey, from Colonial Beach, had 31 points and 10 rebounds to help Longwood beat visiting Radford 76-61. ...
Charleston Southern (14-9, 9-3) won 73-65 at
Sarah Seipp scored 16 as host Virginia Wesleyan overwhelmed Emory and Henry 77-31. ...