Season review: Falcons rewrite record books in 2021-22

Summary 2021-22

The Falcons had their most successful season in program history in 2021-22, with the Air Force’s 19 total wins and 11 conference wins both being program best. Directed by Chris GobrechtMountain West coach of the year, the Falcons have earned four season sweeps of conference opponents, also a first for the program. Ciera Winters was named Mountain West defensive player as Riley Snyder was named All-Mountain West en route to becoming the Air Force Division I all-time leading scorer. The Air Force clinched its first-ever bye in the Mountain West tournament where the Falcons beat Nevada to advance to the semifinals for the first time in program history. The Air Force finally earned a berth in the National Women’s Invitational Tournament, as the Falcons earned their first-ever first-round playoff victory, beating San Francisco 64-60.

Individual remarks

Riley Snyder: Snyder established herself as one of the most productive players in program history in her final season. Snyder, an All-Mountain West selection this season, scored 490 points in her senior campaign, the most by a Division I-era player. She averaged 15.4 points per game, 5and-highest among Mountain West players. Snyder’s 89.8% free throw percentage was second in the MW and 8and among all DI players. She made Air Force history when she passed Kaelin Immel as the program’s most prolific Division I goalscorer on February 25. His 1,614 career points are the fourth-highest point total in program history. Additionally, Snyder’s career average of 13.8 PPG is 6and-highest in program history and the highest PPG average in the Division I era. She would end her Air Force career possessing three of the top five individual season scoring averages among all Falcon players since 1996. The eldest becomes one of eight players in program history to have played at least 117 games, and is one of only three players. to start at least 110 games in the history of the program. Almost automatic from the free throw line, Snyder’s 89.8 percent free throw percentage was second in the MW, and 8and among all DI players. His career free throw percentage of 83.9% is the highest in program history. Snyder’s 584 field goals are 5and all-time in program history, while his 181 three-pointers are 2n/a of all time in the program’s history.

Ciera Winters: Winters punctuated her Air Force career as one of the nation’s most dominant ball defenders. Her 2.7 steals per game led Mountain West, earning Winters the MW Defensive Player of the Year award. His 88 total flights were 13and in Division I and 2n/a-most by a Falcon in the Division I era. Winters had seven games with 5+ interceptions in his senior season. Winters’ 11.6 PPG average was second among Air Force players, as she scored more points this season (378) than her first three seasons combined (183). Winters was the only AF player to start all 33 games in 2021-22.

haley jones: After pulling out of the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19, Jones has been a key cog in the Falcons’ unprecedented success in 2021-22. Jones’ 9.3 rebounds per game was second among all MW players this season, while her 4.4 offensive rebounds per game led MW and ranked it 9and among all Division I players. Jones also had 1.9 steals per game, 4and-best in MW. Jones finishes his Air Force career with 614 career rebounds, the 5th most by any player since 1996. His 276 rebounds this season are the second most in a single season in the Division I era. Jones achieved his career-best performance on Dec. 31, scoring 19 points and 15 rebounds in a 65-52 road win at Utah State, one of his five double-doubles this season.

Joe Hunter: Hunter has been vital to the Falcons’ historic 2021-22 season. The freshman set the Falcons Division I freshman assist record with 122, the most by a freshman since Kallie Quinn in the 1994-95 season. Hunter’s assist-to-rotation ratio of 2.14 was 5and in the MW and 32n/a in Division I. Additionally, his 117 rebounds this season are also the seventh-best among Air Force freshmen in the program’s Division I history. Hunter was one of only two players to appear in all 33 Air Force games.

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