When it mattered most the Cowboys dug down and pulled out a big 64-53 victory on the road. The Cowboys (15-3, 1-1) battled with Air Force (11-5, 1-1) the entire game as expected. Finally the Cowboys got some clutch shots by Luke Martinez and JayDee Luster to pull away over the last four minutes. The Falcons started to foul and Wyoming drained their free throws to give them an 11 point victory. The final score certainly doesn't indicate what a hard fought win this was for the Pokes.
This was a quality win with the Cowboys getting their first conference victory and breaking a nearly three year old conference road losing streak. The last time the Cowboys won a conference game was a 62-52 victory over Air Force back on February 28, 2009. Again this was a game where the starters got a huge chunk of the minutes. JayDee Luster played 39 minutes because Derrious Gilmore missed his second straight game. Gilmore didn't travel with the team and afterwards Shyatt said he was "temporarily academically ineligible and is working". Not sure if he'll be able to play this weekend against the Sheep.
Four Cowboys got into double figures with Francisco Cruz and Luke Martinez both netting 15 points. Leonard Washington had 13 points and eight rebounds. Adam Waddell finished with 11 points a career best four assists. The bench didn't contribute much offensively tonight. Arthur Bouedo hit a three on his lone attempt and that pretty much summed things up. Down the stretch Larry Nance Jr. hit three free throws to help ice the game.
Afam Muojeke saw three minutes of action which was good to see. These were the first minutes he's seen December 22nd against Idaho State. He also has now appeared in more games in this season (12) then he did last year (11). Really want to see him make it all the way to end of this season and see some postseason action.
Cowboy Joe: I loved the way JayDee Luster managed this game. He played almost the entire game but was strong the entire time. He only made one shot but it was a momentum shifting three pointer.
Cowboy Low: Slow start. For the second straight game the Cowboys just couldn't make any shots in the first half. They only had 22 points in the first half, luckily Air Force struggled as well and had 23.
Cowboy Foe: Michael Lyons came off the bench and showed why he is one of the most dangerous players in the Mountain West. It took him awhile to feel comfortable on his ankle but he certainly made some nice plays to finish with 9 points and 4 rebounds. If he is 100% the next time these teams meet this will be a much closer game.