Air Force star Michael Lyon
s sustained an injury to his right knee during the team's face-off against UNLV. (Orlando Ramirez/ Icon SMI)
LAS VEGAS -- An eagerly anticipated Mountain West quarterfinal between Air Force and event host UNLV took a dramatic turn for the worse in the second minute of play when Air Force star Michael Lyons, a first-team all-MWC selection, injured his right knee.
Lyons was dribbling up the floor and, attempting to elude UNLV's Katin Reinhardt who poked at the ball from behind, lost control of the ball and appeared to bang knees with UNLV's Bryce Dejean-Jones near midcourt. As the Rebels went the other way and converted a basket plus a foul, Lyons remained on his back where he went down, and was reaching for his knee.
Air Force sports information director Jerry Cross confirmed at halftime that Lyons has a "sprained right knee" and will not return to the game. The Falcons also lost starting center Taylor Broekhuis in the first half. Broekhuis took a blow to the chin and also will not return to the contest.
Air Force never recovered from the injury blows, committing 13 turnovers (they average 12 for the season) and went into the break down 33-20.