Air Force spent more time looking at the pursuer in the rearview mirror than paying attention to what it was doing. In doing so, it forgot one key component. "We just took our foot off the pedal," forward Kamryn Williams said. The Falcons led Wyoming by 15 points early, then tensed up and watched it slowly unraveled into a 66-59 loss Wednesday at Clune Arena. "You try to relax them, crack a joke, tell them they're fine, go back to your training," Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich said. "But we just kept getting tighter and tighter, especially as the score got closer." Wyoming (12-6, 3-2 Mountain West) had the deficit down to seven by halftime, to four with 15:41 remaining and finally took the lead with a 3-pointer from Nathan Sobey with 3:59 on the clock. Tre' Coggins immediately answered with a 3 for the Falcons, but the shot at 3:22 proved to be the final field goal for the home team. "It was tough," said Justin Hammonds, who scored 13 points and had a team-high seven rebounds for Air Force. "Coach said it the best, he said we were out there having fun when we were playing the best, when we were up 15. We started letting things slip away and a lot of our players, including me, got tense and nervous." If the nerves weren't too much to overcome, Larry Nance Jr. was. The son of the former NBA standout scored 20 points and had nine rebounds for Wyoming. Nance scored 10 points in the final 8:25. "He does a great job of pretending like he doesn't want to do anything and then destroy you," said Air Force's Kamryn Williams, who scored 17 points. "He did a good job of picking us apart in the paint, using his size to his advantage." Air Force (9-9, 3-4) is far more accustomed to being the team on the other side of an early hole, a role played to perfection by Wyoming under assistant coach Allen Edwards, who stepped in after Larry Shyatt was too ill to coach.
Wyoming chases down Air Force men after Falcons led by 15
The Gazette | Jan 24