USAFA — Air Force men’s basketball (4-7, 2-5 MW) came back for a 72-69 Mountain West win over Wyoming (7-4, 1-4 MW) Saturday afternoon at Clune Arena.
The Falcons rallied from a 14 point deficit with senior Chris Joyce leading the way with 21 points.
Air Force trailed Wyoming 44-30 with 15:41 to play in the second half, after the Cowboys opened the second half on a 6-2 run. From there on, the Falcons slowly chipped away at the lead, cutting it to a one-point game at the 10:25 mark after their own 9-0 run.
Wyoming pushed its lead back up to seven with 4:35 to go, leading 64-57. From there on, the Falcons outscored the Cowboys 15-5.
Air Force took its first lead of the game on a Joyce three with 3:32 to play, going ahead 67-65. Joyce followed with a step back jumper with 12 second remaining to complete a 10-0 run and put the Falcons ahead 69-65.
Joyce led four Falcons in double figures. The senior posted his third game of the season over 20 points, shooting 8 of 10 from the field and 4 of 5 from three-point range.
Joining Joyce in double figures were Ameka Akaya with a career-high 15 points, AJ Walker with 15 and Keaton Van Soelen with 13 points. Akaya went 6 of 9 from the field and also had career-high of six rebounds and four steals in 29 minutes off the bench.
Walker was an efficient 6 of 11 from the field with two assists and two steals. Van Soelen was 5 of 10 from the field with three assists and two steals. Freshman Glen McClintock added a career-high six assists to go with six rebounds.
Marcus Williams scored 15 to lead Wyoming. Colorado Springs native Hunter Maldonado added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Air Force shot 53 percent from the field for the game and 40 percent from three-point range. The Falcons committed just eight turnovers, while forcing Wyoming into 15. The Falcons shot 65 percent from the field in the second half.
Game two of the series with Wyoming is Monday, Jan. 18. Tip time is 7 pm MT and the game will be streamed again via the Mountain West Network.