Wyoming Downed By Hot-Shooting Falcons
By JOHN MARSHALL
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Tim Keller had 20 points to lead five players in double figures, and Air Force shot 66 percent to beat Wyoming 83-71 Saturday night.
Air Force (16-3, 6-1 Mountain West) worked its motion offense to near perfection, creating plenty of open shots with perimeter passing, backdoor cuts and kickouts from the post.
The Falcons were 9-of-16 on 3-pointers to beat Wyoming for the first time since Feb. 5, 2000, a span of eight games. Joel Gerlach and Antoine added 14 points each for Air Force, which had lost 26 of 27 in the series.
The Cowboys shot a respectable 44 percent and had 19 offensive rebounds, but had 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. Kuhle
scored on an inbounds play and hit a 3-pointer.
Wyoming followed with a 12-2 run, capped by Straight's 4-point play from well 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 Dan Nwaelele hit two free throws each to put Air Force up 62-53. Gerlach followed with a 3-pointer from the wing, his fourth in four attempts, to push the lead to 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 a late 13-4 run to take a 36-27 halftime lead. Gerlach capped the run with consecutive 3-pointers from the wing, bringing the rowdy cadet section to its feet both times.
Air Force's patience on offense was contrasted by a frenetic defense that challenged nearly every shot and pass on the other end. Wyoming opened with turnovers in two of its first three possessions and finished the half just 1-of-5 on 3-pointers.