MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
AIR FORCE vs. WYOMING
3 THINGS TO WATCH
1. 3-POINT SHOOTING
Air Force beat Wyoming, 70-63, on Jan. 30 but lost to the Cowboys, 58-49, on March 2. The major difference in Wyoming's victory? “I thought (the Falcons) missed some shots, and we made some shots,” Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer said. “It really is that simple.” The teams’ 3-point shooting performances in the games are especially noteworthy. In Air Force’s victory, it made 11-of-25 3s, while Wyoming made 5-of-22. In Wyoming’s victory, it made 9-of-23 3s, while the Falcons made 5-of-20.
2. AIR FORCE G MICHAEL LYONS
The Falcons need a solid performance from the freshman, who has struggled of late. Lyons has made just 1-of-19 3-point field goals in his past five games – he’s missed 15 straight since hitting one in the second half against New Mexico on Feb. 20. In the loss to Wyoming on March 2, Lyons missed all four of his 3s and committed five turnovers. In Air Force’s victory over the Cowboys on Jan. 30, Lyons scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and he turned the ball over just once.
3. WYOMING G DESMAR JACKSON
Air Force held the Cowboys’ freshman to 12 points on 2-of-8 shooting from the floor and 8-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line in last week’s game in Laramie. But the third-team all-Mountain West Conference selection is capable of scoring in bunches (he has topped 20 points in four of his past six games). “The first thing we have to be able to do is what we did up there, and that’s contain Jackson,” Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said.
Quote to Note: “Right after we had the disappointing loss against San Diego State (in lSaturday’s regular-season finale), everyone was saying, ‘Hey, this is a new season. This is a fresh start. We can do the best we possibly can and make something special happen.'” – Air Force junior forward Tom Fow.
Note to Quote: Air Force’s series with Wyoming has been ultra-competitive in recent years. Since 2003, the teams have split their 18 meetings, and just three of those 18 games have been decided by double-figure margins. Eleven of the games have been decided by five points or less. Wyoming has won both of the teams’ games in the MWC Tournament (57-55 in 2006 and 67-62 in 2007).