Air Force (10-15) at Wyoming (17-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 25, 9:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Arena Auditorium (15,000) -- Laramie, Wyoming.
Television: ROOT-RM. Home Record: Air Force 7-8, Wyoming 13-2. Away Record:
Air Force 2-7, Wyoming 3-8. Neutral Record: Air Force 1-0, Wyoming 1-0.
Conference Record: Air Force 4-10, Wyoming 8-6. Series Record: Wyoming leads,
GAME NOTES: Life after Larry Nance Jr. figures to be very hard for Wyoming, as
the Cowboys continue with their Mountain West Conference schedule tonight
against the Air Force Falcons.
Nance Jr., who is listed as the top scorer (15.4 ppg) and rebounder (8.6 rpg)
for the Cowboys on the season, recently had right knee surgery and will miss
the remainder of the season, which means the prospect of the team finishing in
the top half of the MWC standings is looking rather bleak. Without Nance Jr.,
who is also the leader in blocked shots with 55 in his 26 games, the Pokes
bowed at Colorado State on Saturday in an 82-67 final.
Wyoming, which had a three-game win streak snapped with the loss to CSU, is
now 8-6 in conference play and entered the week tied with Boise State and UNLV
for third place in the league standings with four games remaining before the
As for the Falcons, they've come up on the wrong side of two straight league
bouts and eight of the last nine, with the lone win coming against lowly San
Jose State. Over the weekend, the Academy was thrashed by Nevada at home,
75-56, dropping it to 4-10 in MWC action and leaving the Falcons still next-
to-last in the standings.
The Pokes won the first meeting of the season with Air Force at Clune Arena
last month, 66-59, which means the all-time series now numbers 74-33 in favor
Air Force fell behind the Wolf Pack right out of the chute on Saturday and
never recovered, shooting just 5-of-25 behind the 3-point line and 7-of-15 at
the charity stripe in the lopsided home loss. Tre' Coggins and Max Yon were
the only double digit scorers for the Falcons, putting up 14 and 12 points,
respectively, combining to shoot 10-of-24 from the floor, which means the rest
of the roster combined to hit 12-of-36 on the afternoon.
Coggins, who missed some time due to a suspension recently, remains the
leading scorer for the Falcons in conference play with his 15.9 ppg, having
knocked down more 3-pointers (30) than anyone else on the roster, even though
he has played three fewer games. Yon checks in with 13.7 ppg, but he hasn't
been nearly as accurate as his backcourt mate beyond the arc, converting only
28.3 percent of his chances.
Running with a four-guard offense, the Cowboys went small against Colorado
State and it cost the visitors dearly in the 15-point loss at Moby Arena over
the weekend. Without Nance Jr. in the paint the Pokes were crushed on the
glass, 37-21, and cleared just two boards at the offensive end of the floor.
Nathan Sobey and Josh Adams led the offense with 15 and 11 points,
respectively, while Derek Cooke Jr. accounted for nine points and seven
rebounds in the setback as well.
Take away the production by Nance Jr. in the scoring department and the
Cowboys are in dire straits, considering they are averaging only 65.4 ppg to
begin with. It might be easier to find players to take more of the shots, but
replacing that the big man can do in the paint is another story altogether,
with Cooke Jr. standing as the top option on the glass with a mere 5.6 rpg.
Riley Grabau (11.4 ppg) and Adams (11.3 ppg) can still put points on the
board, but preventing opponents from doing the same could be a real challenge.
Air Force is typically a team that has trouble taking care of itself on the
boards, but with Nance Jr. being out on the other side that might open the
door for a number of possibilities for the Falcons.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Air Force 68, Wyoming 61
02/25 10:21:57 ET
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