Cowboys Host Air Force, Looking for MWC Bye
The Cowboys basketball team has plenty to play for this week. They host Air Force on Wednesday night and travel to Boise State on Saturday, knowing if they win both games they will clinch at least the fifth spot in the MWC standings and a bye in the first-round of the tournament. If they were to sweep both games and New Mexico lose its final two games -- at Colorado State Wednesday and home with Fresno State on Saturday -- the Cowboys could actually end up with the No. 4 seed.
Not that it matters if they finish fourth or fifth.
The No. 4 and No. 5 seeds, after getting a bye on the first day of the tournament, play each other the second day.
The Cowboys and San Diego State are currently tied for fifth place, and split their series this year, but the Cowboys have beaten both first-place Nevada and second-place Boise State, giving them the tiebreaker with San Diego State if the teams tie for that fifth slot.
The Cowboys will celebrate Senior Night against Air Force in what is the only meeting of the year between the two teams. Air Force will be playing its third game in five days. They lost 54-48 against Fresno on Monday in a game that made up a postponement due to government shutdown last month.
The Cowboys are coming off a 78-68 win at Fresno State, improving their record to 9-7 in the conference and 18-11 overall. Air Force is 11-17 overall, but 5-11 in the MWC.
The Pokes are led in scoring by junior guard Justin James at 19.0 points per game, which ranks third in the MW and No. 73 in the nation. James also adds a team-best 3.0 assists per game. He leads the Pokes with 132 made free throws this season. Senior forward Hayden Dalton adds 18.2 points per game and has scored 20 or more points in nine of his last 11 games. He has made 19 three pointers in his last four contests. He also leads the Pokes in rebounding at 8.1 per game for fifth in the MW.
Senior forward Alan Herndon adds 11.6 points per game and leads the MW in blocks this season with 65, which ranks No. 26 in the nation. His 2.2 blocks per game also leads the league and ranks No. 28 in the nation. Senior guard Louis Adamsaverages 9.9 points per game off the bench and scored a career-high 31 points against New Mexico last Wednesday.
The Falcons are led in scoring by forward Lavelle Scottie at 12.0 points per game. He leads the team with 33 three pointers. Guard Trevor Lyons adds 9.6 points per game to go along with 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Forward Ryan Swan is third on the team in scoring at 9.2 per game and adds a team-best 4.6 rebounds per night.
The Cowboys lead the all-time series with the Falcons 77-37 in a series that dates back to 1958. Wyoming is 40-14 in Laramie against Air Force. The Falcons took the last meeting in the first round of the MW Tournament last season by a score of 83-68.