Air Force tips Colorado State with last-second putback

LAS VEGAS -- Alecia Steele scored 17 points, including a putback with seven-tenths of a second left, to give Air Force a 47-46 win over Colorado State in the Mountain West Conference tournament opener Tuesday night.

It was the academy's first tournament win for either the men's or women's basketball program.

"I don't think we'll stop smiling," said Steele, who grabbed her 10th rebound after Pamela Findlay missed a jumper with five seconds and laid it in from the left side.

Ninth-seeded Air Force (6-22) will face top-seeded BYU in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Sara Hunter led eighth-seeded Colorado State (8-21) with 17 points and five rebounds.

Emily Neal (9 points) had given the Rams their first lead since halftime when a running jumper from the right side with 48 seconds left made it 46-45.

Marilyn Moulton had 13 rebounds for the Rams.

After trailing 21-20 at halftime, Air Force opened the second half on 13-3 run to built its largest lead at 33-24 with 12:50 left in the game. Colorado State answered with a 7-0 spurt, but could not take the lead until Neals basket.