Air Force averaged a little more than 12 turnovers per game before Wednesday. The Falcons passed that total before halftime at Wyoming.
The Falcons usually take great care of the ball, but Wyoming’s pressure defense was the difference in a 63-61 loss.
“Lot of turnovers, not enough assists,” guard Todd Fletcher said.
The Falcons’ offense was off all night. Air Force is one of the nation’s leaders in assists per field goal, but had just nine assists on 23 made baskets against Wyoming. The first half was particularly ugly, with just two assists and 13 turnovers. Air Force had just 18 points at the half.
In the first meeting between the teams, Air Force picked apart a weak zone defense by Wyoming. The Cowboys’ defense has completely changed since coach Heath Schroyer was fired in early February. Wyoming ran a tight man-to-man defense that affected the Falcons.
“We turned it over too many times in the first half trying to make a play rather than let a play develop,” coach Jeff Reynolds said.
Surprisingly, the Falcons were still in the game at the end, but officials ruled that Fletcher barely had his right foot on the line as he hit what appeared to be a game-tying 3-point shot with 4.6 seconds left. The shot was ruled a 2-pointer, and the Falcons couldn’t get up a good shot at the buzzer.
Reynolds said he initially thought the officials were looking at the clock – the scoreboard at the arena showed the game was tied. But on the floor the officials ruled Fletcher was on the line, and they didn’t overturn the call after a long review.