Hot-Shooting Falcons Dump Cowboys in Conference Opener
Air Force had five players score in double figures and made 17 three-pointers to beat Wyoming 86-77 in the Mountain West opener for both teams Wednesday night in Laramie.
The 17 made 3-point field goals are the most by an opponent in a single game at the Arena-Auditorium.
AJ Walker scored 20 points, Lavelle Scottie had 19 points, Ryan Swan finished with 17 points, Caleb Morris 15 points, and Mason Taylor added 13 points off the bench for Air Force.
A 9-0 run by Wyoming early in the second half cut an 11-point Falcons lead down to 40-38. With a 50-46 advantage, Air Force got three straight triples from Scottie, Walker, and Swan that pushed it to 59-46.
The Falcons went on a 13-4 run and opened up their biggest lead at 75-58 with five minutes left.
The Cowboys didn’t go away. A 16-4 run in the last four minutes cut it to 82-77 with 33 seconds remaining. Air Force closed it out with a pair of free throws from Morris and a dunk by Scottie over the top against the press.
The talk after the game from the players and head coach Allen Edwards was their lack of defense in the loss.
Wyoming (3-6, 0-1) shot a season-high 52 percent from the field. They made a season-best 14 three-pointers, and the 77 points were a season-high, as well. The Cowboys even had four players in double figures. Hunter Maldonado led the way with 18 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. Hunter Thompson and Jake Hendricks scored 17 points apiece, and TJ Taylor added 10. It still wasn’t enough.
Air Force (4-5, 1-0) shot 53 percent from the field. They finished 17-30, 57 percent from deep. The Falcons had a 33-28 edge in rebounding and 21 assists. Their nine offensive rebounds led to 12 second-chance points.
The Pokes scored the first five points of the game, as Air Force was held scoreless in the first four minutes. The Falcons came back with the next seven points and took a 7-5 lead. After four lead changes, Air Force made four triples, which gave them a 21-11 advantage. UW climbed back within 22-18, but five straight from the Falcons made it 27-18. It was 38-29 Air Force at halftime.
Wyoming returns to action Saturday with their second conference game against the New Mexico Lobos. Tip-off is at 2 p.m.
UW will retire the “Electric Man,” Fennis Dembo’s, No. 34 in a ceremony at halftime. There will be a bobblehead giveaway for the first 3,000 fans in attendance and an autograph session afterward.