Can’t sugar-coat this one folks, this was Wyoming’s worst loss of the season so far.
A 12-2 start and 24-10 first-half lead evaporated and turned into a 58-53 home loss to Air Force, which fired its coach last week and had lost seven straight games.
“We did not have an urgency, we didn’t not have a connectedness and we didn’t’t have an energy. There was no energy in the building,” coach Larry Shyatt said.
There was no energy in the building as the announced crowd of 4,881 was as pathetic as the game itself. However, other than the first 11 minutes or so, there wasn’t much to cheer about.
UW shot 26.1 percent in the second half and made only six baskets. It was 1 of 12 frm 3-point range in the second half and 4 of 21 from the game.
The Cowboys did a good job of going inside to senior center Adam Waddell as he had 11 points in the first half. But just four the rest of the game as Air Force went to a 2-3 zone.
Junior forward Leonard Washington was a non-factor with seven points and three turnovers. He rebounded it well with nine.
I will say Air Force junior guard Michael Lyons could play for anyone in the MW. He had 24 points on 9 of 15 shooting and 6 of 8 from 3-point range.
But for Shyatt, this game cane down to a lack of defense even though UW held Air Force to less than 60 points.
“We were beaten on the ball and off the dribble. If you watch the tape I’m going to say we were beaten off the dribble 18 to 20 times,” he said. “We usually care a lot more about that.”
Shyatt and junior guard Luke Martinez were asked what this loss does to UW’s postseason chances. The Cowboys were being mentioned as a team on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament.
Neither said much, and Martinez said that’s for “us” meaning the media and fans to talk about. But as of now that bubble has burst.
However, Shyatt said: “We focus on the moment. Those things are coming and are going to get there. Only ask that of which you have earned and never ask for anything more. Air Force earned this win.”
He’s right about that.
UW plays at Border War rival Colorado State at 7 p.m. Saturday. Maybe that will help motivate them to put this game behind it. But the way this game went for the Cowboys, their next opponent shouldn’t matter. They should want to put this one behind them ASAP.
For more on the game and comments on the return of junior point guard Derrious Gilmore who was academically ineligible the last nine games, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.
Sorry for no postgame video. Had camera and computer problems. They both may be thrown out the window and onto I-80 on my way home tonight.