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Air Force Defense Frustrates Cowboys in 57-48 Loss

Leonard Washington
Sr. Leonard Washington drives to the basket during a game earlier this season. (Photo by Townsquare Media)

A cold shooting night spelled disaster for the Wyoming Cowboys, as they lost their second straight game, 57-48, to the Air Force Falcons Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes shot 33 percent from the field, which included a 5-28 (17.9%) performance from beyond the arc. It was the Falcons second straight win in Laramie.

Senior forward Leonard Washington was asked about the shooting woes, and he said, “You can’t say anything led to it. You make shots and you miss shots. Tonight a couple of our shots from the 3-point line just didn’t go in, simple as that.”

Air Force (12-6, 3-2) opened the second half on a 9-2 run for their biggest lead of the game at 38-27. Wyoming hit just enough three’s against the Falcons zone defense to stay within striking distance. In fact, back-to-back 3-pointers by Derrious Gilmore and Nathan Sobey got the Pokes within 44-40, but that’s when UW went cold. They went 5:44 of the second half with just 1 free throw.

Down 51-41, Wyoming (15-4, 2-4) made one last push. They trimmed the Air Force lead to 53-48 with 1:59 left, but a turnover by Larry Nance, Jr., and a missed 3-pointer by Riley Grabau were the last big opportunities. The Falcons hit a pair of free throws and added a Michael Lyons lay-up for the final margin.

Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said, “I tell you it’s hard to compensate when you make 18 percent of your three’s. That’s on me, that’s on your head coach. I’ve got to find a way to produce for you more points, an easier time to score.”

The Cowboys were led by Leonard Washington with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Gilmore added 15 points. UW finished 17-51 from the field. They were also out-rebounded by Air Force, 33-25. The Pokes 28 3-point field goal attempts was a season-high.

The Falcons had three players in double figures. Taylor Broekhuis led the way with 16 points, while Lyons added 11 and DeLovell Earls had 10. Air Force went 18-41 (43.9%) on field goals, 5-15 (33.3%) from deep and was 16-22 (72.7%) at the line.

The Falcons started the game 6-of-10 from the field and held a 15-7 lead. Air Force kept the lead despite 14 first half points from Washington. He scored 7 straight twice during the opening half. The Falcons led 29-25 at the break.

Shyatt added, “What we got to do is march ahead with this next game, and that’s what will do.”

Wyoming returns to action against the New Mexico Lobos Wednesday night at the AA. Game time is set for 7 p.m. You can listen to Cowboy basketball on Y95 Country, as coverage will start at 6:30 p.m. Cowboy Talk will follow with host David Settle.

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