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Air Force guard Michael Lyons injured in loss to UNLV

Mar 13, 2013, 7:06 PM EDT

Michael Lyons AP

Once leading scorer Michael Lyons went down in the early minutes of Air Force’s game Wednesday against UNLV, there wasn’t much the Falcons could do. Lyons injured his knee less than two minutes into the game after turning the ball over, falling to the ground and not getting up for the remainder of the play.

Without Lyons in the lineup, Air Force lost his 18.3 points per game and was unable to contain the Anthony Bennett-led UNLV offense in a 72-56 loss at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

Air Force sports information director Jerry Cross said Lyons had sprained his knee, as reported by SI.com, which kept him out for the game.

The loss officially seals Air Force out of the NCAA tournament, but they will likely make an appearance in the NIT. According to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, it is possible that Lyons tore his meniscus, an injury that would keep him sidelined for any sort of postseason play if the injury is ultimately shown to be that severe.

If he is out for the rest of the season, the Falcons would be left with a massive offensive hole that would be difficult to fill. No other player on the team averages double figures in scoring and without Lyons in the lineup for the most part Wednesday, Air Force mustered just 53 points. That was well off its season average of 71 points per game.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_