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Cowboys Fall Short at Air Force 72-66

Jr. Nathan Sobey
Junior guard Nathan Sobey takes a tough leaner in a game earlier this season. (Photo by Townsquare Media)

Nathan Sobey scored a career-high 22 points, and Leonard Washington returned to the line-up and posted a double-double, but it wasn’t enough. The Wyoming Cowboys lost their third straight game in Mountain West Conference action at Air Force Tuesday night by a final of 72-66. UW suffered through a six-and-a-half minute stretch without a field goal in the second half and couldn’t overcome that dry spell.

After the game, Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt was upset with his teams’ defensive effort. He said, “I thought they (Air Force) attacked us off the dribble tonight better than any team this season. They utilized their system and winning on the road is not easy if you don’t guard the ball well. I am very disappointed with our defensive effort tonight. Offensively, we relied on those jump shots early and they didn’t fall late.”

A Riley Grabau 3-pointer with 9:32 left in the game gave Wyoming a 59-56 lead. Then the Cowboys managed just four free throws until their next field goal at the 2:55 mark. Still, UW hung tough and trailed only 67-65 at that point, but Air Force scored the final five points of the game for the six-point victory.

Wyoming (18-10, 4-10) shot 40 percent (22-55) from the field, which included 10-30 (33.3%) from deep. They were 12-15 (80%) at the line, but got out-rebounded 35-27 by the Falcons. Sobey was a perfect 7-7 from the field, including 6-6 from 3-point range, plus 2-2 on free throws for his career-high. Washington had 15 points and 13 rebounds in his first action in 10 days after an ankle injury. Grabau added 12 points on four 3-pointers.

Air Force (16-10, 7-6) was led by Kamryn Williams, who scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench. He was one of four Falcons in double figures. They shot 51 percent (26-51) on field goals, were 3-18 (16.7%) from beyond the arc and 17-23 (73.9%) at the stripe. Air Force held a 30-20 edge in points in the paint.

After the Pokes jumped to a 10-4 lead behind a pair of 3’s by Grabau, Air Force answered with a 16-5 run for a 20-15 lead. Just when the Falcons started to pull away, Sobey knocked down three of his 5 first half 3-pointers,as Wyoming stayed within striking distance. Sobey’s last three gave UW a 38-37 lead at the break.

The Cowboys return to action Saturday at MWC leader New Mexico. Game time is set for 3 p.m. You can listen to Wyoming Cowboy basketball on Y95 Country. Coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m.

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