COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado College didn't travel far to record one of the biggest victories in the program's Division III history, but the Tigers' seniors have come a long way since starting their careers with 24 consecutive losses.
Nick Rose, Brady Ohlsen and Colin Madden combined for 37 points as the Tigers wiped out an eight-point deficit during the final five minutes of regulation and went on to defeat Air Force, 60-57 in overtime, on Wednesday night at Clune Arena.
"I'm proud of what our seniors have accomplished," head coach Andy Partee said. "They didn't win a game when they were freshmen. Now they knock off a Division I opponent. That says a lot about the direction of the program."
Freshman point guard Ryan Milne gave the Tigers a 57-55 lead with 2:28 remaining in the extra session and CC made three of six free throws during the final 1:15 to seal the victory.
Rose finished with a game-high 18 points to lead Colorado College, two of which came on free throws during the final 1:15 of overtime.
Ohlsen added 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Madden drained a three-point shot with 2:59 to play in the second half that tied the score at 51-51. Ohlsen gave the Tigers a two-point lead 45 seconds later, but the Falcons' Taylor Broekhuis drained a pair of free throws with 1:15 to go to send the game to overtime.
Ian Rewoldt made a huge impact in his first career start. The sophomore forward pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and added seven points, including the first two in overtime.
The Tigers snapped an eight-game losing streak against Air Force, the last of which was an 82-31 drubbing during head coach Andy Partee's first season at CC. The Tigers scored just six points during the first half of that game.
When Colorado College took a 7-4 at the first media timeout during tonight's game, there already was a sense that the Tigers would not get run out of the arena this time.
"It's a surreal feeling right now," Rose said. "When we saw these guys on our schedule, we thought it'd be a good experience, but never really thought a W would be coming out of this. But 15 minutes into the game, when we were right there with them, we started to really believe with our hearts that we could beat these guys."
The Falcons took their first lead on a jumper by Taylor Stewart 7:35 into the game, and led 15-12 after Tom Fow scored two of his team-high 17 points on a pair of free throws midway through the first half.
Colorado College took a 27-21 lead when Jeff Smith buried a three-pointer with 2:13 to play in the first half, but Air Force scored the final six points to draw even after 20 minutes.
The Falcons took a 30-29 lead on Fow's three pointer 22 seconds into the second half and led by as many as five points before going on a 7-1 run to open a 49-41 advantage with 6:42 to play.
Air Force led 51-43 on Fow's dunk with 5:56 to go, but missed its next five shots and turned the ball over once as the Tigers used a 10-0 run to regain the lead.
Colorado College returns to action on Saturday afternoon against Lewis & Clark College.