Good win for Wyoming, even though the 63-61 victory over Air Force Wednesday night in Laramie shouldn’t have been as close as it was. UW was 12 of 28 from the free-throw line. It makes just three or four more and there are no anxious moments late in the game.
UW was 6 of 15 from the line in the final 11:53 when it went into the bonus.
But no sense dwelling on the negative. Interim coach Fred Langley is 2-2 and has this team playing with more energy, intensity and fire.
And how about sophomore forward Amath M’Baye. He’s averaged 20.2 points over his last four games, and had a career-high 27 points in this one.
For now, here’s what junior center Adam Waddell said: “Amath’s been playing with a lot of confidence lately. We’ve been riding it and been the guy to go to to make a big play. He gets the crowd into it, and makes the athlete moves to help us win.”
Waddell’s blocked shot on sophomore forward Zach Bohannon secured the win. UW had a season-high nine blocked shots. Three were by M’Baye, and on one it looked like he jumped up, grabbed the net and blocked the shot. The rules state that should be goaltending, but no call was made.
UW had 11 offensive rebounds and forced 19 turnovers. It also shared the ball well with 17 assists on 25 baskets.
All ingredients for winning basketball.
UW (10-17, 3-10) now has to play the top three teams in the MWC, starting Saturday at 21-7 UNLV, followed by a home game with No. 4 San Diego State then at No. 7 BYU next week
That doesn’t seem to damper the Cowboys’ confidence right now.
“I think (since Langley took over as interim coach) it’s completely different and I think it’s for the good,” Waddell said. “We got beat by Air Force by 21 there. The past few weeks we’ve played with a lot of confidence. We’re going to try and keep this rolling.”
Added Langley: “We’re going to have some exciting basketball the rest of the year. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t talk about winning and losing in that locker room. We talk about execution. I don’t think our guys are going to be intimidated by going (to UNLV). They’re going to play their tails off and whatever will happen will happen.”
Nine guys played and eight saw double-digit minutes. The guy who didn’t — true freshman guard Joe Hudson — played nine minutes. Langley has shown he’s not afraid to play anybody and anytime.
And, UW got this win with leading scorer Desmar Jackson (15.2 ppg) scoring just two points.