Air Force guard Antoine Hood swipes the face of Utah forward Bryant Markson during the second half Saturday.
By DOUG ALDEN
AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Joel Gerlach made two free throws after being fouled on a layup attempt with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift Air Force to a 59-57 victory over Utah on Saturday, giving the Falcons their first ever season sweep of the Utes.
Air Force rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit and increased its lead in the Mountain West Conference by winning in Salt Lake City for the first time in 15 years. The Falcons (19-4, 9-1) last won at Utah on Jan. 26 1989, beating the Utes 67-57.
Utah (19-7, 7-4) led most of the second half, but Air Force battled back and won in the thrilling finish after Utah unsuccessfully went for the final shot.
Nick Jacobson, who led the Utes with 22 points, gave Utah a 54-53 lead with a jumper from the top of the key, but Air Force came right back and regained the lead on a layup by Gerlach.
Utah regained the momentum on the next possession, working the ball around to the right corner where Jacobson hit a 3-pointer with about a minute remaining to give Utah a 57-55 lead, but the Utes couldn't hang on to the lead.
Nick Welch tied it on two free throws with 37.1 seconds left, then Utah stalled and tried the last shot. The strategy failed when Drisdom missed a layup and the rebound kicked out to midcourt, where Gerlach picked up the loose ball and took it in for a layup attempt. He missed, but was fouled by Drisdom with 1.4 seconds left.
The officials took several minutes to decide on the call before Gerlach went to the line, where he was booed loudly but calmly hit both shots. Utah didn't get a shot off after the inbounds pass and the Falcons became the first visitor to win at the Huntsman Center this season.
Gerlach finished with 15 points, Antoine Hood scored 13 and A.J. Kuhle had
12 points for Air Force, which won despite being outrebounded 29-15.
Utah recovered from a slow start, then took a 32-24 halftime lead after Jacobson scored 12 points to lead the Utes on a 17-4 run. Air Force had gone back up 20-15 after the Utes had tied the game at 15-all when Jacobson started the Utah rally with two free throws and a 3-pointer to tie it at 20.
After a block by Tim Frost, Richard Chaney gave Utah its first lead with a jumper in the lane, then Jacobson added a pair of long jumpers. Frost put Utah ahead 29-24 on a three-point play with 52.8 seconds remaining, then Jacobson hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.