LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Head coach Larry Shyatt and the University of Wyoming men's basketball team welcome UNLV to the Arena-Auditorium on Saturday at 4 p.m. MT. The Cowboys (8-8, 1-2 MW) will look to even their conference record with a victory, while the Rebels (9-6, 0-2 MW) are still in search of their first MW win this season. The Pokes topped UNLV, 76-71, last season at home.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or online at GoWYO.com. Fans can be a "Student for a Game" with a special online promotion that features a ticket in the student section, a "Dunktown" T-shirt and a Pepsi for $25. Saturday is also a season-ticket exchange game, as fans can exchange any unused season tickets from earlier in the season for a ticket to this game. Fans can follow live stats and audio of the game through the gameday central page on GoWYO.com. The contest will also be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming's 64-52 win over the Falcons bumped the Pokes to 8-8 overall and 1-2 in the league for seventh in the MW standings. The Cowboys built a 15-point lead early in the second half, before Air Force used a 16-2 run to cut the lead to 42-41 with just under 11 minutes remaining. A three sparked a 22-11 Wyoming run over the final 10 minutes, though, that put the Pokes up double digits with six minutes left and well in control. As a team, Wyoming shot 43 percent (22-of-51) from the field, 39 percent (11-of-28) beyond the arc and 75 percent (9-of-12) at the charity stripe. The Pokes' 11 threes were their second-most this season. Air Force hit 37 percent (20-of-54) from the field and 33 percent (6-of-18) from deep. The Cowboys had their second-highest rebounding margin this season with a 38-31 advantage on the boards and a 16-7 lead in points off turnovers. On the season, Wyoming averages 70.9 points on 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep. The Cowboys' 9.1 threes per game rank second in the MW and 35th in the NCAA, while their 37 percent from deep is second and 82nd. Their 75 percent at the free-throw line leads the league and is 26th in the nation. Defensively, Wyoming allows 70.5 points on 42 and 32 percent, respectively. The Cowboys limit opponents to 32 percent beyond the arc for first in the MW and 87th in the NCAA. Wyoming's 17.5 fouls per game are second in the conference and 52nd nationally.
Head coach Dave Rice and UNLV were picked fourth in the MW preseason poll, but enter the weekend 9-6 overall and 0-2 in the league for 10th in the conference standings. Those two MW losses have come by a combined four points, though. The Rebels opened with a 69-66 home loss to Fresno State on Dec. 30 and, most recently, suffered a 66-65 road loss at Colorado State last Wednesday. The Rams led 33-29 at the break but UNLV used a 16-4 run in the second half to take a 48-43 lead with 11:16 to play. The Rebels held the advantage until a layup with 11 seconds left to put the Rams on top, 65-63. UNLV responded with a game-tying layup with seven seconds left, but CSU sank the game-winning free throw in the final second. The Rebels shot 46 percent (25-of-54) from the field and outrebounded the Rams, 38-35, but committed six more turnovers. Overall, UNLV scores 76.5 points per game on 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from deep. The Rebels rank third in the MW in field goal percentage, while their 15.4 assists per game are second. Defensively, UNLV's 66.7 points allowed per game rank second in the conference, as it limits foes to 41 percent from the field and 34 percent beyond the arc. The Rebels' 8.9 steals per game lead the MW and rank 17th in the NCAA and their 5.6 blocks are third and 22nd, respectively. UNLV owns a plus 1.4 rebounding margin and a plus 2.7 turnover margin for second in the MW.
Each Team's Leaders
Senior guard Josh Adams collected the second double-double of his career with 20 points and 10 rebounds against Air Force. His 25.7 points per game lead the MW and are fourth in the NCAA, while his 3.0 threes per game are first and 34th, respectively. He also paces the Pokes at 5.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. Sophomore guard Jeremy Lieberman chipped in a career-high 13 points versus the Falcons, thanks in part to a career-high four threes. He averages 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Jason McManamen added 10 points to reach double figures for the sixth time in the last seven contests, as he averages 11.9 points per game. His team-high 40 percent beyond the arc is second in the MW, while his 2.2 triples per game are fifth. Sophomore Alexander Aka Gorski also got the starting nod versus Air Force, as the Pokes went with four guards. He finished with eight points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal and averages 5.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon is UW's other probable starter at 6.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Sophomore guard Patrick McCaw paces the Rebels at 13.3 points per game with a team-high 30 made threes this season. His 4.2 assists per game are fourth in the MW, while his 3.0 steals are first in the conference and third in the NCAA. McCaw had 11 points, five assists and five steals versus CSU. Freshman forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr., the MW Preseason Freshman of the Year, leads a group of five Rebels that average nine points per game. He checks in at 9.5 points and teams highs of 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, ranking third in the league in the last two stats. He racked up nine points and eight rebounds against the Rams. Senior guard Jerome Seagears adds 9.9 points and 4.0 assists per game, while freshman forward Derrick Jones Jr. contributes 9.5 points and 1.2 blocks. Sophomore forward Dwayne Morgan rounds out UNLV's probable starters at 4.1 points and 4.6 rebounds. No Rebel has started all 15 games this year.
About the Series
The Cowboys trail the Rebels in the all-time series, 16-35, but are 13-9 in games contested in Laramie, including a 76-71 win on Dec. 31, 2014, in UNLV's last trip to the Arena-Auditorium. In the last meeting between the two, the Rebels earned a 69-57 win in Vegas on Feb. 28, 2015. The Pokes were within three with eight minutes left, but the Rebels responded with a 10-0 run to secure the win. Adams had 24 points, including four threes.
Wyoming returns to the road to play at San Jose State on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT.