Updated: January 9, 2012 at 12:00 am
Kamryn Williams did a little bit of everything for Air Force on Monday, tying career highs with 11 points and four assists, and he also grabbed a career best 10 rebounds. In his mind, his most important contribution in the Falcons’ 67-54 win over Texas-Pan American was an intangible one.
“I’m the energy guy,” said Williams, a freshman from Sierra High School. “I try to bring as much energy to the team as I can.”
Air Force didn’t have a lot of energy in the first half of its final nonconference game and third straight contest against a nondescript opponent. Williams had a bunch of key plays in a decisive second half, but one stood out to him. Todd Fletcher threw an errant shot off the backboard and Williams rebounded the ball and dunked it in one motion, giving the Falcons a 47-42 lead and a lift for the rest of the game.
“That dunk brought a lot of energy,” Williams said.
Air Force played a lethargic first half. The Falcons missed five layups, and hit just 2-of-11 3-point attempts. Texas-Pan American started fast, hitting five of its first six 3-point attempts, and that was enough to maintain a lead throughout almost the entire second half. Air Force led 3-2 to start the game, and trailed the rest of the half. The halftime score was 27-25, but coach Jeff Reynolds wasn’t too worried.
“We missed five layups, five free throws and we were down two,” Reynolds said.
Fletcher started the second half with a 3-pointer to give Air Force a 28-27 lead. That gave the Falcons a little spark, and Williams’ dunk was part of a 10-0 run that gave Air Force control of the game. With Williams on his way to his first career double-double, the Falcons pulled away.
The Falcons looked like a team that needed a new challenge, which it will get with the start of the conference season on Saturday at Boise State. Reynolds said when the Falcons came home for their final three games before conference play they set a modest goal of going into conference play with a 10-4 record, and they accomplished that with the win against Texas-Pan American.
Air Force will probably be without guard and leading scorer Michael Lyons, who missed a fifth straight game with a high ankle sprain and is “50-50 at best” to play at Boise State, according to Reynolds. With or without Lyons, the Falcons are ready for whatever tests come their way in the Mountain West.
“I think we’re well prepared for conference,” Fletcher said. “I’m excited to see where we go with it.”
Contact Frank Schwab: 476-4891
Facebook Gazette Frank Schwab