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Kuhle Lifts Air Force Over UNLV, 72-70

From Associated Press

A.J. Kuhle made a three-point play with 6.3 seconds left, giving Air Force a 72-70 victory over Nevada Las Vegas Saturday at Air Force Academy, Colo.

With the victory, the Falcons (20-5, 10-2) clinched at least a tie for the Mountain West Conference regular-season title and also earned the top seed in the conference tournament.

It was the first loss in four games for interim Coach Jay Spoonhour, who took over the Rebels (15-10, 6-6) for his father, Charlie Spoonhour, on Feb. 17 when the elder Spoonhour stepped down for health reasons.

Air Force’s Tim Keller made a three-point basket and Kuhle was awarded a basket on a goaltending call against Romel Beck for a 60-59 lead with 4:13 left. Keller’s basket made it 66-62 with 1:29 left, but Beck made a three-pointer with 1:07 to go.

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UNLV’s Jerel Blassingame -- who scored a game-high 28 points -- made two short jumpers to make it 69-69 with 21 seconds left. Kuhle then got loose on the baseline, made a reverse layup, was fouled and made the free throw.

OTHER GAMES

Mike Benton’s basket with 10 seconds left gave College of Charleston (19-8, 11-5) a 91-89 win over East Tennessee State (24-5, 15-1) at Charleston, S.C. The loss ended the Buccaneers’ attempt to become the first team to go through the Southern Conference season unbeaten since they did it in 1998-99.... Princeton (17-7, 10-1) moved a step closer to the Ivy League title with a 59-46 win over Cornell (11-14, 6-6) at Princeton, N.J. The Tigers lead Brown (9-3) and Penn (8-3) with three games left.... Wisconsin Milwaukee (18-9, 13-3) defeated Cleveland State, 88-63, to clinch the Horizon League regular-season title. It’s the Panthers’ first conference crown since 1941, when they won the State Teachers College Conference title. Cleveland State is 4-24, 0-16.... Dayton’s 72-58 victory over visiting La Salle (10-17, 5-9), coupled with George Washington’s 75-67 loss to Richmond, gave the Flyers (21-6, 11-3) a one-game lead in the Atlantic 10 West division.... Texas El Paso (22-5, 13-4 WAC) beat Southern Methodist, 81-71, at Dallas in the first game for the Mustangs (10-16, 4-12) since firing nine-year coach Mike Dement.


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