Caught the last 4+ minutes on TV after seeing us sweep BobbyMo in a VERY good weekend of hockey. I'm just continually impressed with this teams composure and Coach P. I haven't felt this good about ALL of our winter sports since 06-07.
Gee, Wednesday, I could go to an HOA board meeting or a home AFA men's bball game. I just resigned from the board to go to the game. Seriously. Go Falcons!
Great team win....flying early so will talk more tomorrow...Great game Falcons!
LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Taylor Broekhuishad 16 points and nine rebounds to lead Air Force to a 57-48 win over Wyoming on Saturday night.
Air Force (12-6, 3-2 Mountain West) led wire to wire after bolting to an 8-0 lead and holding the Cowboys to 33 percent shooting. Michael Lyons added 11 points and DeLovell Earls10 for the Falcons.
Wyoming (15-4, 2-4) was paced by Leonard Washington's 19 points and nine rebounds, while Derrious Gilmoreadded 15 points. Washington scored 14 in the first half but took only three shots after intermission.
Two free throws by Gilmore cut the Falcons' lead to 53-48 with 1:59 remaining, but the Cowboys had a turnover and three missed shots in the closing moments.
Air Force, who entered the game as the 11th-best 3-point shooting team in the nation at 40.1 percent, hit only 5 of 15 from beyond the arc but finished at 44 percent overall (18 of 41) by scoring 24 points in the paint.
Congratulations Falcons! Absolutely, positively an excellent win in a tough, tough venue. The coaching staff once again did a superb job getting the team ready. I'm beginning to believe that rather than a single leader our Seniors are providing a "Band of Brothers" kind of leadership for the team. And the young guys are responding with more solid, fewer error performances. The team is playing with more confidence which was evident in the waning moments of the game as the opponent was furiously trying to close the gap and secure a win. Basketball aficionados can rejoice that our Falcons are coming to play and believing they can win against any opponent. GO FALCONS! Beat the Puppies from Fresno State.
Great win Falcons! All the ingredients for success here. Balance scoring, single digit turnovers, decent free throw shooting, great coaching and game management.
Road conference win! Confidence booster for sure. When will Colorado Springs start to show up and support this team?!?!?
And another thing........I don't think we lead coast to coast or perhaps even win this game had we not played that OOC mid week game vs New Orleans. Absent that game we would have had a week off and the opportunity to get rusty. Sharp performance last night. Good scheduling.
BTW, the SDSU team Wyoming beat at home absolutely mauled UNM yesterday. AF can beat any team in this conference.
I have already booked my seats for the MWC tournament (my two sons and I have even gone to some NCAA regional tournaments). We are not even planning to be there on the first day as it is unlikely Air Force will be playing in the opener as they have done so often in the past. Ain't it great to wait for the second day !
(Scroll down for Postgame News links and around the MWC summaries)
The MWC, completing the third weekend of conference action, finds parity throughout the conference at home and on the road. Air Force gets it's first road win in conference over Wyoming at the AA Auditorium only one week after Wyoming stunned ranked SDSU and holding them to only 9 points in the first half. Air Force finds themselves in a three way tie for third place in the MWC along with UNLV and CSU, all at 3-2. New Mexico is still in first at 4-1 after suffering a loss it second place SDSU at 4-2. The bottom half of the league is right there with Boise State and Nevada at 2-3, Wyoming 2-4 and the Falcons next opponent Fresno State at 1-5.
Air Force came into the game with Wyoming knowing that the Cowboys were tough on defense and played the clock on offense using strength inside to score. Air Force had a plan to attack when they had the ball and to play aggressive defense, guarding the lane and forcing Wyoming to win by shooting the long ball.
Statistics do not always tell the full story but they can give a pretty good picture.
Wyoming's offense has been playing off their defense. Play tough defense, especially at home to hold the opponent down while keeping the game at a controlled pace to run clock and take/keep the lead. Sounds like the Princeton offense that Air Force still runs but even more so to true Princeton ala the Falcons circa 2003-2004 en route to the NCAAs. But to date this season, the Cowboys might not have faced as discipline an offense using similar principles as they did versus the Falcons. While the Falcons did not shoot exceptional from the arc, they shot well enough that it had to be respected allowing Air Force to find seams open for back door cuts and layups and either scoring or getting fouled and going to the line. While Wyoming successfully defends very well against one on one players driving (such as SDSU players), the patient offense of Air Force seemed to break them down more. One of my keys in the matchup preview was for Air Force to go inside out aggressively and they did with success. Something not seen in many Air Force games is the Falcons having more second chance points than their opponents.
While the Falcons worked hard on the offensive end, they may have worked harder on the defensive end. A combination of matchup zone, zone and three-quarter court press caused Wyoming to work deep into the clock on every possession.....
***An aside here: Kudos to Wyoming's Leonard Washington (19 pts on 8-12 FG plus 9 rebounds in 37mins) and Derrious Gilmore (15pts with 3 3pt shots). Leonard was a monster inside and moves so well for a big man. Too many times in this game did I see him slip not one but two defenders. He should definitely be in consideration for the All-MWC team.
But even with the effort of these two Cowboys, the Falcon defense executed their plan. First, at different times throughout the game they made it difficult for Wyoming to bring the ball down the court either stealing in the backcourt or trapping across the half line. While Wyoming was working their half court offense looking for a good shot opportunity, the Falcons made them work harder and longer during many possessions resulting in shots either made near the buzzer or taking less than desired perimeter shots. Post game comments by Wyoming's Coach Shyatt said that he needed to find ways for his team to score earlier in the clock, something the Falcons worked hard not to allow.
Individual player comments must begin with Taylor Broekhuis who played an exception game. Air Force matches up better physically with Wyoming, a similar team physically as compared with a similar team in Boise State with no bigs with a size and weight advantage. Taylor took advantage of this and played maybe his most physical game with 16pt, 3-4 3pt, 3 FT and 9 rebounds combined with excellent blockouts under the glass. Behind him it was a team effort for the win. In another game where Mike Lyons was defended tightly, he still scored 11ps on 4-9 FG, 3-4 FT, 3 Rebs and 3 steals in only 31 minutes. DeLovell Earls matched his career high with 10pt on 4-5, 4reb and 3 assists. Contributions were not just in scoring as Todd Fletcher had 6pts along with 6reb and 2 assist and Mike Fitzgerald 6pts along with 4reb. AF's six players off the bench only contributed 8 points but did give 38 excellent minutes in relief compared to Wyoming's 24 bench minutes, 20 by one player. While not apparent on the court, I think the fresh legs were definitely an asset to Air Force.
All in all a very good game for the Falcons. They have made a move to climb up the ladder, but it does not get any easier in the long run. Air Force will face Fresno State at home in the first conference meeting between the Falcons and the Bulldogs who travel to Clune Arena for the first time after coming off a loss at CSU. Then SDSU come to the Academy followed by on the road to the Pit and New Mexico.
A lot of basketball yet to be played for the Falcons.
The Falcons outplayed the Cowboys in every facet of the game, and it started with coaching. Coach P and the staff had a great game plan on both ends of the floor. First, they had Taylor be more involved with in the offense and gave him the green light to shoot the three when Washington stayed in the lane (i.e., when Washington got tired and didn’t want to play defense). They also made some great adjustments at half time that basically shut Leonard Washington down on the offensive end of the floor, denying him the position he likes to work from along the baseline. Another wrinkle that I saw was to put Max on the point of the 1-2-2 press. Todd has been playing that position up to this point and has great hops for a player that is only 6’2” tall, but Max is three inches taller and has equally great hops for 6’5”. Max on the point bothered the Cowboys, and I think it’s going to bother some other teams in the MWC, too. Overall, Coach P and his staff outshined Coach Shyatt and the Wyoming staff all night.
Defensively, the Falcons 1-2-2 zone was spectacular. They reacted to the ball better than I can remember seeing in a long, long time. The Falcons smothered the Cowboys, limiting them to 18% from three and 33% overall. If you take out Washington’s 8-12, the Cowboys shot an even more abysmal 20% from the field. The pregame story was how good the Cowboys can play defense; the post game story is how good the Falcons can play defense.
This was a team win. Everyone did everything they could to help the Falcons win this game. Fitz didn’t have a big night scoring (although it would have been better if he would have gotten the goal tending call on the Washington block, and if the refs would have call two fouls on Washington when he first just about took Fitz’s arm off on a medium range jumper, and the second when he body checked Fitz into the stanchion on a layup attempt). However, Fitz had some very big rebounds down the stretch, denying Washington any easy put backs. Taylor also had 8 big boards, and Todd had 6 allowing the Falcons to actually win the rebounding battle.
And then there was Taylor Broekhuis: 5-7 from the field, 3-4 from three, 3-4 from the FT line (two of them clutch to put the game way with 30 seconds), 16 points, 9 rebounds, and assist, a block and a steal in 36 minutes. Wow. The senior was certainly “The Big Man” last night!
The game was so good, I got up early to watch it again! Big win for the Falcons. Now I really can’t wait for Wednesday night.