Cow­boys Take Close Game

The Wyoming Cow­boys faced the Air Force Fal­cons Wednes­day night for a matchup between the num­ber sev­en and eight teams in the MWC. Air Force entered the game look­ing to sweep the Cow­boys; the two teams faced on Jan­u­ary 22nd where the Fal­cons got a 21 point win. Although that game was only a month ago in this game Air Force faced an all new team in Wyoming. The Cow­boys start­ed the game with a fire that was not there in the begin­ning of the sea­son. The Fal­cons also start­ed with fire but theirs came in the form of fouls. Just a 1:22 into the game Air Force picked their sec­ond foul send­ing Har­ri­son to the free throw line. He made both giv­ing the Cow­boys a two point lead and the first points of the game. The Fal­cons quick­ly respond­ed tying the game for the first and last time. Wyoming went on a run that start­ed at the free throw line. Strange­ly enough this was the same place the streak was end­ed with the Fal­cons mak­ing a free throw. Wyoming then strug­gled to make shots fall while the Fal­cons con­tin­ued to eat away at the lead. Just before the mid­point of the half Hud­son drained a three once again giv­ing the Cow­boys a lit­tle cush­ion. The Fal­cons had it in their minds that they were the bet­ter team and got the lead back down to one. Cruz fouled Tay­lor on a layup which got the Fal­cons back with­in one. It did not take long to make up for the foul as he hit a three right after. The final eight min­utes of the half was dom­i­nat­ed by the Cow­boys. This dom­i­na­tion was not as good as the Cow­boys would have liked but it did give them an 11 point lead to end the half. With 4:04 left in the first half Arthur hit a three and the next two min­utes saw both teams strug­gle with­out scor­ing. With two min­utes to go Arthur end­ed the dry span with anoth­er three giv­ing the Cow­boys the 11 point lead and get­ting the last bas­ket of the half. Wyoming entered the half with the lead and want­ed to keep it until the final buzzer. They came out in the sec­ond half look­ing to build on the lead but the Fal­cons still thought they could win.

M’Baye shoots over Air­force Defend­er Michael Lyons. (Jere­my Stegall/LFP)

Air Force made the first two bas­kets of the half but Amath made the third. The teams then trad­ed bas­kets for the next minute until Cruz hit anoth­er three get­ting the Cow­boys back on top by 11. The next few min­utes saw tough play and three fouls by the Fal­cons and the Cow­boys were able to increase the lead one point. Both teams played tough but it was not until the 6:32 mark that the game start­ed to get crazy. It was at this time that Lus­ter made a layup giv­ing the Cow­boys anoth­er 11 point lead. In a game like this most peo­ple would think an 11 point lead might be a safe mar­gin but Air Force was not ready to give up. Over a minute lat­er the Fal­cons start­ed a six point run that last­ed for almost two min­utes. Amath gave the Cow­boys life again when he made a short jumper but the Fal­cons once again answered with a run. Des­mar picked up a foul which low­ered the lead to five and then with just over two min­utes Fow made a three to decrease the lead to just two. The final two minute of the game were intense as it was unclear how the game would end. Amath got the Cow­boys back up by four and they stayed there for over a minute. The final 50 sec­onds of the game is when things got scary for the Cow­boys. Amath sent Brooks to the line where he made both shots. Five sec­onds lat­er Des­mar answered with a dunk but ten sec­onds lat­er Wash­ing­ton got a layup. Cruz then went 1–2 from the line giv­ing the Cow­boys a three point lead with half a minute to go. With 19 sec­onds left on the clock Bohan­non cut the lead to one. On the ensu­ing inbounds play Brooks picked up his fifth foul send­ing Amath to the line where he made both shots. Then with five sec­onds left in the game Fletch­er hit a deep jumper. The offi­cials stopped play to review the shot to see if it was behind the three point line. They looked at the mon­i­tors for quite awhile to make sure they could see clear­ly if his foot was on the line or not. After a long review relief swept the AA as it was sig­naled that it was only a two point shot. Air Force imme­di­ate­ly fouled Amath, he missed the first free throw but made the sec­ond. The inten­si­ty could be felt since the crowd knew that Air Force would only have time to shoot a three which would give them a one point lead. After the inbounds pass Bohan­non went down the court and put up a three as time expired. Wad­dell was there to swat it out of bounds to lock up the win for Wyoming.

 

This was an intense game but end­ed with the Cow­boys pick­ing up a big win. After Lan­g­ley was put in charge of the team things have been com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. Lan­g­ley has stat­ed that he wants to play every­body who is healthy enough to play and he wants Wyoming to con­trol the tem­po of the game. The last time Wyoming faced Air Force the Fal­cons lit it up from deep which led to a blow out win. In this meet­ing the game was played dif­fer­ent and the Fal­cons were pre­vent­ed from play­ing their style of ball. Wyoming used a full court press at times to put pres­sure on the ball. Oth­er times the Cow­boys played half court defense but no mat­ter what defense they played they were always on the ball when it is was in the hands of a shoot­er. This new play by the Cow­boys seems to be con­fus­ing the oppo­nents they face. Teams are not ready for Wyoming to move the ball the way they are now and Wyoming con­trol­ling the speed of the game real­ly mess­es with teams. Wyoming’s style of play in this game led to 26 Air Force fouls but at the same time the Cow­boys are still get­ting used to this new style also which led to them pick­ing up 17 fouls. The speed of the game not only caused fouls but turnovers as well. Wyoming forced 19 turnovers while only turn­ing the ball over 11 times. Nine of the Falcon’s turnovers were steals by Wyoming. Anoth­er big fac­tor in this game was blocked shots which Wyoming got nine. Foul shots were a rea­son that Air Force was able to get back into the game. Although the Fal­cons made one less than the Cow­boys they shot a high­er per­cent. Wyoming strug­gled shoot­ing from the line shoot­ing 12–28 which is only 42.9% and is bad for any team but even worse since they did it at home. Not only did Air Force shoot bet­ter at the line but they shoot bet­ter from the field. Even with Wyoming strug­gling to shoot the ball they were able to get a win by play­ing like a team. Wyoming was out rebound­ed but they had such good ball move­ment it did not mat­ter, 17 assists on 22 bas­kets. This is not the type of win the Cow­boys want­ed but they will take any win they can get.

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