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Air Force Basketball: Falcons head north to face Colorado Buffaloes

The day before Thanksgiving will see the Air Force Falcons basketball team head to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes in a match-up of 3-1 teams on the young season.

Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports

The Air Force Falcons will be riding a three-game win streak into Boulder as they take on the Colorado Buffaloes in their biggest challenge to date in this young basketball season. Air Force has enjoyed some home cooking this past week, defeating Tennessee Tech, Mississippi Valley State and Robert Morris. But Colorado will present an entirely different foe for the Falcons, as the Buffaloes have size that Air Force cannot match. Colorado Springs native Josh Scott will lead his Buffaloes into battle versus his hometown team for the last time in his collegiate career Wednesday evening.

Air Force is led by the duo of Trevor Lyons and Hayden Graham. Both Lyons and Graham played key roles in games played this past week for the Falcons. Lyons hit a buzzer beater to help the Falcons nip Mississippi Valley State 65-65 this past Thursday, while Graham almost earned the first triple-double in Air Force history with his 16 point, 12 rebound and eight assist game in a 64-52 victory over Robert Morris. Graham is averaging 16 points and 9.5 rebounds a game this season and has recorded two double-doubles in four games. Lyons is the leading scorer on the team with 17.3 points per game. Graham and Lyons are sure to draw lots of attention from Colorado's defense Wednesday night.

Surprisingly, what has been Air Force's Achilles heel in the young season has been its three-point shooting. Air Force is only shooting 20% from deep so far this season, which is last in the Mountain West Conference, and only averaging 3.3 three-pointers a game. Outside shooting was considered to be one of Air Force's strengths heading into the season, so improving from outside the three-point line is of key importance for the Falcons as they face games against not only Colorado, but New Mexico State and Ohio State in the near future. One big help would be getting junior sharpshooter Zach Kocur going with the long ball. Kocur, who is the third best shooter in school history at 43% is only shooting 30% thus far in the season. Kocur is a key to the Falcons offense, as he creates space for slashers like Lyons and Graham to operate in the point.

For Colorado, the Buffaloes are being led by three players in double digits. The team's leading scorer is redshirt sophomore George King who is averaging 18.8 points per game. Following King is Scott (15.5 ppg) and junior Tre'Shaun Fletcher (10.3 ppg). The Buffaloes, who own a 21-3 advantage in the series with Air Force, has a potent offense. King's emergence has helped the Buffaloes replace senior forward Xavier Johnson who is out with an achilles injury. Another name to watch for Wednesday night is junior guard Josh Fortune, a transfer from Providence who is adjusting to life with the Buffaloes and averaging 9.3 points early in the season.

Game time in Boulder is at 7:00 p.m. MST and the game is being televised on the Pac 12 Network.