Michael Lyons took an outlet pass from Evan Washington, slammed it home, was fouled and made the free throw with 1:47 remaining to give Air Force the lead for good in a 77-69 victory over Utah in a Mountain West Conference opener Wednesday night.

Lyons scored a career-high 26 points and brought the Clune Arena crowd to its feet with the emphatic dunk while being fouled by the Utes' Will Clyburn. After a steal at the other end of the court, Derek Brooks connected on a 3-pointer to put the Falcons (10-4) up 72-67.

Air Force hit five free throws in the final 33 seconds to seal the victory.

Clyburn, the conference's second-leading scorer at 19.1 ppg, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Utah (7-8) a 67-66 advantage with 2:40 remaining. He finished with 16 points, while Chris Kupets came off the bench to lead the Utes with 25.