LARAMIE, Wyo. - Air Force switched lineups again on Wednesday, with Lavelle Scottie sitting the first 5 minutes after arriving late for the team bus.
The sophomore who leads the team in scoring still played 22 minutes, scoring 11 points with seven rebounds and two assists in a 66-54 loss at Wyoming.
“He lost his wallet,” coach Dave Pilipovich said. “And God bless him, you’ve got to find your wallet. It’s got his military ID and you've got to have that. But our lesson learned: come earlier in case that happens and you can go back. He responded better, and you grow from it.”
With Scottie sitting, sophomore guard Caleb Morris drew his first start and scored 11 points with 11 rebounds in 35 minutes.
Another sophomore, center Ryan Swan, dominated early. At one point Swan had 10 points – accounting for all of Air Force’s scoring – while Wyoming was still at 8.
But Swan finished with just 13 points after that hot start.
“Just knowing where he was at all times and keeping him off the offensive glass was a big emphasis at halftime,” said Wyoming’s Hayden Dalton, who scored 12 points.
Air Force fell behind by nine points in the first half, then rallied early in the second half to go up by four. Wyoming again went in front and stretched the lead to nine, with Air Force cutting it to 54-51. Wyoming scored the next nine points to put the game away.
“Turnovers were the tale of the game,” Pilipovich said, noting Wyoming’s 23-10 advantage in points off turnovers after the Falcons committed 19 turnovers. “If I could take it back again and we could take away about six turnovers, I think we’re the victors.”
With Morris playing a career-best 35 minutes, the Falcons played six players 22 or more minutes on Wednesday. Among them, were four sophomores and a freshman.
So many young players often leads to growing pains of varying sorts, and that's what Air Force is dealing with right now.