COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
Playing without two of its top two big men, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team dropped a 73-50 game to Air Force on Saturday afternoon in Clune Arena. The Pokes (19-5, 8-3 MW) were without the services of senior forward Larry Nance Jr. and redshirt freshman Alan Herndon due to illness, as the hot-shooting Falcons (11-12, 4-8 MW) handed UW its most lopsided defeat this season.
Air Force connected on 57 percent (28-of-49) from the field and 50 percent (10-of-20) beyond the arc, both season highs for a Cowboy opponent, as Wyoming surrendered more than 70 points for just the fourth time this season. The Pokes were within four, 35-31, early in the second half, but the Falcons hit three-straight triples during a 13-0 run to take control of the contest. Air Force would extend the lead to more than 20 midway through the second half.
Junior guard Josh Adams finished with 11 points for his 17th game in double figures this season, while redshirt sophomore Jason McManamen tied a career high with 10 points. Senior forward Derek Cooke Jr. had 10 rebounds for his third-straight game with double-figure boards, the second time in his career accomplishing the feat, and added three blocks and two steals. Wyoming shot just 35 percent (17-of-49) from the field and 27 percent (8-of-30) from deep, as Air Force outrebounded the Cowboys 32-26 and committed just nine turnovers.
Senior guard Riley Grabau started the game with back-to-back threes for the Pokes, before an 11-0 run put the Falcons in front. Adams broke the spurt with a jumper, but Air Force would extend its advantage to as many as 12 with six minutes left in the half. The Cowboys would claw back, though, thanks to threes from freshman guards Jeremy Lieberman and Alexander Aka Gorski to go into halftime down 33-28. Grabau, Adams and Aka Gorski had six points each in the first half and Cooke added six rebounds. Wyoming shot 44 percent (11-of-25) from the field and 36 percent (4-of-11) from deep in the first half, but the Falcons connected on 62 percent (13-of-21) and 50 percent (5-of-10), respectively.
Wyoming next plays at San Diego State on Wednesday at 9 p.m. MT.