No. 25 Cowboys at MW-Newcomer Nevada on Saturday
Jan. 10, 2013
Laramie, Wyo. -
After falling from the ranks of the undefeated, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team looks to return to its winning ways on Saturday when the Cowboys face Nevada at 4 p.m. MT in the Lawlor Events Center. The Pokes dropped their first game of the season to Boise State on Wednesday in the Mountain West opener for both squads and now face a Wolf Pack team that is 8-1 on the season at home.
Fans can follow live stats, live audio and live video of Wyoming's game through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on the website. The contest will also be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming is 13-1 on the season after suffering defeat for the first time this season with a 63-61 loss to Boise State on Wednesday in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes posted the best start in program history with a 13-game winning streak to start the season and climbed to No. 25 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches, but couldn't tame the Broncos in the MW opener for both squads. UW and BSU battle throughout the game on Wednesday, as the Cowboys took the lead twice in the last minute, before the Broncos sunk a three as time expired to steal the win. The loss snapped a 12-game home winning streak for Wyoming and leaves just three undefeated teams in the nation now (Duke, Arizona and Michigan). Wyoming has been a balanced squad this season. The Pokes average 67.9 points per game on 46 percent from the field, 35 percent from three and 74 percent at the charity strip, as all three of those marks rank third in the MW. On the defensive end, the Cowboys lead the conference and rank eighth in the nation in scoring defense by allowing 55.2 points per game. Wyoming ranks fifth in the MW in field goal percentage defense at 40 percent and eighth in three-point field goal defense at 36 percent. UW's plus 2.9 turnover margin is fourth in the Mountain West.
David Carter is in his fourth year at the helm for Nevada and guided it to an exceptional season in the WAC last year. The Wolf Pack went 28-7 overall in 2011-12 and 13-1 in the conference to advance to the quarterfinals of the NIT. Carter returned three starters and 10 letterwinners from that squad for Nevada's first season in the MW. The Wolf Pack is 9-6 so far in 2012-13, but own an 8-1 mark at home. Nevada dropped its first game in the conference with a 78-65 loss at Air Force on Wednesday. Nevada led 33-30 at halftime but was outscored 48-32 in the second half. The Wolf Pack offense ranks fifth in the MW at 71.9 points per game, but is seventh in field goal percentage at 43 percent and ninth in three-point percentage at 30 percent. Nevada does lead the league in free throw percentage at 75 percent, though. On the defensive end, the Wolf Pack is eighth in field goal percentage defense at 43 percent and ninth in three-point field goal defense at 38 percent. Nevada's plus 1.0 turnover margin is fifth, but its 0.9 assist-turnover ratio is eighth in the conference.
Each Team's Leaders
Senior forward Leonard Washington was named the MW Player of the Week on Monday and leads the Cowboys at 14.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He is one of just three MW players to rank in the top 10 of the conference in all three categories and leads the league in blocks. Senior guard Derrious Gilmore adds 12.1 points and 3.0 assists from the point. He is fifth in the MW in three-point percentage at 42 percent and seventh in threes per game at 2.0. Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. is UW's other scorer in double figures at 10.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He is one of four Pokes to shoot over 80 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau missed time in December with a knee injury, but has started the last two contests. He averages 5.8 points and 2.7 assists per game. Freshman guard Josh Adams, who filled in for Grabau when he was injured, will now be asked to fill in for senior guard Luke Martinez, who is out indefinitely with a hand injury. Adams averages 6.2 points and 1.5 assists per game. Gilmore scored 17 and Washington and Adams both had 12 on Wednesday against Boise State.
Preseason All-MW selection Deonte Burton is Nevada's top threat with team highs of 16.1 points, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The junior guard ranks fifth in the MW in points, third in steals and 10th in assists. Senior guard Malik Story isn't far behind at 15.9 points, 2.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. He ranks sixth in the MW in points, fifth in threes per game at 2.4 and seventh in three-point percentage at 34. The duo is the only Wolf Pack players to start all 15 games. Junior forward Kevin Panzer has started 14 contests and averages 5.4 points and 4.5 rebounds. Junior guards Jerry Evans Jr. and Jordan Burris rounds out Nevada's starting five against Air Force. Evans pulls down a team-high 5.1 rebounds to go with 7.4 points, while Burris scores 8.0 points per game and has a team-high 14 blocks. Burton scored a team-high 21 points against the Falcons on Wednesday.
About the Series
The Pokes own a 7-1 advantage in the all-time series with the Wolf Pack, including a 3-0 mark in Reno. Nevada's lone win in the series was a 35-32 victory in Laramie during the 1937-38 season. The two program's last meeting was an 83-64 Wyoming win on Dec. 4, 1999, in Laramie. Saturday will be the first MW game between the two.
Wyoming travels to Fresno State for an 8 p.m. MT game on Wednesday.