Despite a season-high 15 three-pointers, the Wyoming Cowboys lost at Air Force Wednesday night, 81-76, in Clune Arena.

Air Force (10-13, 5-6) jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never trailed in the game. The Falcons shot 53 percent for the game, which was a season-high for a UW opponent. That included 67 percent in the first half. LaVelle Scottie scored 34 points. He started the game 11-11 from the field. Ryan Swan added 19 points and eight rebounds.

Wyoming (5-17, 1-8) was led by Justin James with 22 points. He also had eight rebounds and nine assists. Jake Hendricks scored 21 points in his return to the line-up. That came on a career-high tying seven 3-pointers. Trace Young added 15 points. The Cowboys shot 46 percent in the game and 41 percent from deep.

University of Wyoming head coach Allen Edwards said in a release after the game,

“Some of the things I hit the team with is just growth. We are still having to address things we need to get better at. Sometimes it is collective or like a spirit jumping from one player to the next. We have to continue to coach and mentor these guys.”

After the Falcons quick start, a Jordan Naughton lay-up pulled the Pokes within 17-15 with 13 minutes left in the first half. A 16-5 run by Air Force gave them their biggest lead of the half, at 42-26, with 3:20 remaining. Wyoming didn’t fade away, three’s by James, Young and one by Hendricks at the buzzer cut it to a 44-35 halftime deficit.

Down by 15 early in the second half, the Cowboys went on their own 16-5 run. After three free throws by James, UW had cut it to 56-51 with 11:10 left. Air Force responded with 11 straight points and opened up a 67-51 lead. Back came Wyoming with six triples in the final six minutes of the game. Hendricks made three, while walk-on Haize Fornstrom added two. It reduced the Falcons lead to 78-75 with 39 seconds left. Three foul shots sealed it for Air Force.

Edwards added in the release, “I commended Jake on his play after the game. He was flying around and he really understands how to play the game.”

Wyoming returns home Saturday to face ‘Border War’ rival Colorado State at noon in the Arena-Auditorium.

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