LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team continues its two-game road trip to start the Mountain West season on Saturday at Nevada in Reno, Nev. The Cowboys (7-7, 0-1) opened conference play with a 67-55 loss at San Diego State last Wednesday, while the Wolf Pack (8-5, 0-1) dropped an 88-76 contest at New Mexico in their first MW contest. Saturday’s tip is set for 4 p.m. MT in Lawlor Events Center
The contest will be televised by ROOT Sports (Charter: 523, DirecTV: 659) and broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network. Fans can follow live stats, audio and video of the game through the men’s basketball Gameday Central page on GoWYO.com.
A Look at the Matchup
Head coach Larry Shyatt and Wyoming are 7-7 overall and 0-1 in the conference to tie for eighth in the league standings. The Cowboys topped San Diego State for the MW title last March, but the Aztecs jumped all over the Cowboys early Wednesday to lead by 18 in the first half. The Pokes would battle back to within four at 44-40 midway through the second half, before SDSU responded with back-to-back threes. The Cowboys would cut the lead to nine twice down the stretch, but that would be as close as they could get. Neither team shot well, as Wyoming hit 36 percent (19-of-52) from the field and 26 percent (6-of-23) beyond the arc. SDSU connected on 36 percent (21-of-58) and 20 percent (4-of-20), respectively. The Aztecs outrebounded the Cowboys, 50-26, with a 21-6 advantage in offensive boards to lead 30-20 in points in the paint and 14-5 in second-chance points. UW’s minus 24 rebounding margin was its worst this season, while SDSU’s 21 offensive rebounds were a season high for a Cowboy foe. On the season, Wyoming averages 71.7 points on 44 percent from the field and 36 percent from deep, while allowing 71.9 points on 42 and 31 percent, respectively. The Cowboys make 8.9 threes per game, which ranks third in the MW and 46th in the NCAA, while their 36 percent from deep is third and 115th. Wyoming’s 17.3 fouls per game are second in the conference and 52nd nationally.
First-year head coach Eric Musselman has Nevada off to an 8-5 overall start, but is 0-1 in conference play after an 88-76 loss at New Mexico last Wednesday. The Lobos used a 19-1 run to go up by 18 in the first half, before the Wolf Pack closed the gap to 42-33 at halftime. Nevada got within six early in the second half, but that would be as close as it would get to New Mexico. The Wolf Pack shot 44 percent (25-of-57) from the field, but 27 percent (4-of-15) from deep, while allowing the Lobos to hit 47 percent (28-of-60). UNM earned a 37-30 advantage on the boards and 46-36 in points in the paint. The Wolf Pack converted 20 Lobo turnovers into a 22-15 lead in points off turnovers. Overall, Nevada’s 80.2 points per game are second in the MW, thanks in part to a league-leading 14.2 offensive rebounds per game. The Wolf Pack shoots 44 percent from the field and 33 percent beyond the arc. Defensively, Nevada allows 72.5 points per game, but is second in the MW allowing opponents 39 percent from the field and third at 31 percent from deep. Nevada’s 7.1 blocks per game also pace the conference.
Each Team’s Leaders
Senior guard Josh Adams scored 16 points versus the Aztecs, his second-lowest showing this season, but still averages 26.1 per game for first in the MW and third in the NCAA. His 3.2 triples per game also lead the league and rank 29th nationally. Adams also paces the Pokes at 5.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest. Junior guard Jason McManamen added 11 points against SDSU and averages 12.6 per game. His 42 percent beyond the arc is third in the MW, while his 2.3 makes per game are sixth. Freshman forward Justin James was UW’s other guard against San Diego State for the third start of his career. He scores 7.4 points per game to go with 2.5 rebounds. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon is Wyoming’s top big man at 6.7 points and 4.9 boards. Fellow sophomore forward Jonathan Barnes rounds out the Cowboy probable starters at 2.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
Senior guard Marqueze Coleman paces four Nevada players in double figures at 17.7 points per game, which ranks fifth in the MW. His 46 percent from the field is sixth in the league, while his team-high 3.8 assists are ninth. He notched 26 points, five assists and five steals against the Lobos. Junior guard D.J. Fenner posted 16 points versus New Mexico and adds 13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest. Freshman forward Cameron Oliver is Nevada’s leading rebounder at 7.0 per game to go with 10.2 points. His 2.5 blocks per game lead the MW, as he had four at UNM. Freshman guard Lindsey Drew contributes 5.1 points and 4.1 rebounds, but his 1.8 steals per contest are third in the conference. Sophomore forward Elijah Foster rounds out the probable Wolf Pack starters at 2.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
About the Series
The Pokes have dominated the all-time series with the Wolf Pack, 13-2, including 5-1 in Reno. In the last meeting between the two, Wyoming earned a 64-58 road win on Feb. 17, 2015. The Cowboys trailed by 13 points with 12:30 left, but outscored the Wolf Pack 36-17 the rest of the game and posted 51 second-half points for the come-from-behind victory. Adams had 18 points, as Larry Nance Jr. sat out with mono.
Wyoming hosts Air Force on Wednesday for its first home game of the MW season. Tip is set for 7 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or online at GoWYO.com.