Mar 9, 2017 - From wire reportsLAS VEGAS - The Cowboys were held scoreless for the first eight minutes of the game, which in turn saw Air Force open the contest going 9-of-13 from the field on their way to a 83-68 win over Wyoming on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the MW Championship in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The Cowboys opened the contest going 0-of-9 from the field, as UW falls to 18-14 overall
"Obviously, first, just all the credit to Air Force," said UW head coach Allen Edwards. "I thought they came out with some tremendous excitement for the tournament, shot the ball really, really well in the first half. And we were forced into a situation of playing catchup for pretty much the whole game. I couldn't say we were horrible on defense, I thought they made some tough shots, as well."
The Pokes were led by junior Hayden Dalton with 15 points and 12 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season.
Sophomore guard Justin James recorded 20 points for his 25th game in double-figures this season. He has also scored 20 or more points in 10 games this season and in six of the last 10 games.
The Cowboys were held to 40 percent from the field with the Falcons shooting 41 percent.
Air Force did their damage from the free throw line going 29-of-34 for 85 percent including 19-of-22 in the second half.
Wyoming finished the night with 20 turnovers and trailed on the boards 36-34.
"They got the ball moving and on defense I thought they had a tremendous edge, which affected our scoring on the offensive end," Edwards said.
The Cowboys hit 10 three point field goals and have now hit double-digit triples in nine-straight games. The Cowboys also tied last season's school record, as UW has 307 three pointers this season.
The Falcons got off to a fast start, hitting their first three shots and taking a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game. Jacob Van added to the lead with a jumper and a three by LaVelle Scottie made it a 12-0 game at the 15:08 mark. The Pokes to that point were 0-of-7 from the field.
Air Force continued their hot shooting building the lead to 25-0 at the 11:43 mark of the first half. Wyoming's first basket followed on a three pointer from Cody Kelley.
The Pokes went 0-of-9 from the field to that point with the Falcons opening 9-of-13.
Air Force continued their roll, expanding before Dalton scored five-straight points for the Pokes to make it a 40-16 game with under five minutes remaining in the half.
A 7-0 run by the Cowboys that turned into a 9-2 run to close the half made it a 48-27 game in favor of the Falcons at the break.
The Falcons shot 53 percent from the field and scored 16 points off of Cowboy turnovers.
The Cowboy offense found a rhythm with a 7-2 run starting at the 15:16 mark of the second half and made that made it a 56-40 contest.
James sparked the run with a three pointer from the wing. The Falcons rebuilt their advantage with a 7-1 run to make it 70-46 game with 7:42 remaining.
Air Force maintained that momentum to earn the 83-68 win. AFA was led in scoring by Van with 18 points.
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