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AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Austin Ainge scored 14 points and Keena Young added 12 -- including eight straight in a pivotal second-half run -- as Brigham Young beat Air Force (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 25 AP) 62-58 on Tuesday night to assure the Cougars at least a share of the Mountain West Conference title.
The Cougars also ended the Falcons' 30-game winning streak at Clune Arena, a place where Air Force had been nearly unbeatable. The Falcons had won 54 of their previous 55 home games.
Brigham Young (22-7, 12-3) now has the longest home-winning streak in the nation at 30 games and can clinch the league title outright with a win Saturday at home against Utah. A UNLV loss in one of its two remaining games would clinch the title for BYU as well. It would be the Cougars' first outright conference title since 1987-88.
Jimmy Balderson had 11 points and Trent Plaisted 10 as the Cougars won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Air Force (23-7, 10-6) lost its third striaght and dropped to 6-6 since starting 17-1. Tim Anderson and Jacob Burtschi each had 15 points. Dan Nwaelele scored 14, becoming the 21st player at Air Force to eclipse 1,000 points for his career.
A pair of free throws by Plaisted with 2:36 remaining gave the Cougars a 60-58 lead, which they wouldn't surrender.
Jimmy Balderson and Lee Cummard iced the game as each hit 1-of-2 free throws in the final 1:01.
Nwaelele's desperation 3-pointer with less than 5 seconds remaining and Air Force trailing 62-58 fell short.
The Falcons led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but BYU went on an 18-6 run to take a 52-51 lead with 6:38 remaining on a soft floater by Young. The senior forward scored eight straight points in BYU's run.