Wyoming Downed By Hot-Shooting Falcons

Box Score / Play-by-Play
Download Free Acrobat Reader

By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Tim Keller had 20 points to lead fiveplayers in double figures, and Air Force shot 66 percent to beat Wyoming 83-71Saturday night.

Air Force (16-3, 6-1 Mountain West) worked its motion offense to nearperfection, creating plenty of open shots with perimeter passing, backdoor cutsand kickouts from the post.

The Falcons were 9-of-16 on 3-pointers to beat Wyoming for the first timesince Feb. 5, 2000, a span of eight games. Joel Gerlach and Antoine added 14points each for Air Force, which had lost 26 of 27 in the series.

Jay Straight had 23 points and David Adams and Joe Ries added 14 each forWyoming (9-11 2-5), which has lost eight straight road games and seven of nineoverall.

The Cowboys shot a respectable 44 percent and had 19 offensive rebounds, buthad just four assists couldn't keep up with the frenetic Falcons.

Air Force led by nine at halftime and pushed it to 46-34 after A.J. Kuhlescored on an inbounds play and hit a 3-pointer.

Wyoming followed with a 12-2 run, capped by Straight's 4-point play fromwell beyond the arch that made it 48-46 with 12:48 left.

But that was as close as the Cowboys would get.

Nick Welch scored on a cut to the basket and a short hook, then Hood and DanNwaelele hit two free throws each to put Air Force up 62-53. Gerlach followedwith a 3-pointer from the wing, his fourth in four attempts, to push the leadto nine with 5? minutes left.

Air Force was hot from the start.

The Falcons were 7-of-12 from long range - 13-for-21 overall - and used alate 13-4 run to take a 36-27 halftime lead. Gerlach capped the run withconsecutive 3-pointers from the wing, bringing the rowdy cadet section to itsfeet both times.

Air Force's patience on offense was contrasted by a frenetic defense thatchallenged nearly every shot and pass on the other end. Wyoming opened withturnovers in two of its first three possessions and finished the half just1-of-5 on 3-pointers.