Drake led the entire game, but almost found itself on the losing end after Air Force erased almost all of an eight-point deficit in the last two minutes. The Falcons (3-2) had two shots at potential game-winning 3-pointers in the final five seconds, but Todd Fletcher and Mike Fitzgerald both missed.
Before that, Fletcher and Fitzgerald had each converted two free throws to pull Air Force within 61-60 with 42 seconds left. With 15 seconds to play, Fitzgerald fouled Karl Madison, who made one of two foul shots to put Drake (5-3) up by two.
Fitzgerald and Michael Lyons led Air Force with 13 points apiece.
The teams had not met since 1981. Drake is now 6-0 all-time against Air Force.