Pokes and Spartans Battle on Wednesday in San Jose

Jan. 11, 2016


Game Notes   Get Acrobat Reader | Gameday Central

The University of Wyoming men's basketball team continues its road-heavy recent schedule with a Wednesday game at San Jose State. The Cowboys (9-8, 2-2 MW) overcame a 17-point, first-half deficit to down UNLV, 59-57, last Saturday at home, while the Spartans (5-11, 0-4 MW) lost at home in overtime to Colorado State, 85-84, on the same day. Wednesday's tip is set for 8 p.m. MT at The Event Center in San Jose, Calif.

Fans can follow live stats, audio and video of the contest 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
Head coach Larry Shyatt and Wyoming enter the week tied for fifth in the Mountain West standings at 9-8 overall and 2-2 in league play. Against the Rebels, Wyoming suffered through yet another sluggish start to trail 22-5 with less than 10 minutes left in the first half, but would battle back to pull within four at 31-27 at halftime. The second half would feature all 13 lead changes in the game, as neither squad led by more than five in the frame. The Cowboys would take control down the stretch at the foul line, though, by hitting eight of their last 12 in the final three minutes. Wyoming shot a season-low 34 percent (16-of-47) from the field and just 32 percent (8-of-25) from deep to win a game for the first time this season when shooting worse than its opponent. The Rebels hit 40 percent (19-of-47) from the field, but tied season lows for a Cowboy foe in field goals made and attempted. At the free-throw line, Wyoming hit 70 percent (19-of-27) to just 57 percent (12-of-21) for UNLV. The Rebels committed 18 turnovers, a season high for a Cowboy foe, and fouled 23 times. On the season, Wyoming averages 70.2 points on 44 percent from the field and 36 percent from deep. The Cowboys' 9.1 threes per game rank second in the MW and 33rd in the NCAA, while their 36 percent from deep is second and 98th. Their 74 percent at the free-throw line leads the league and is 27th in the nation. Defensively, Wyoming allows 69.7 points on 42 and 32 percent, respectively. The Cowboys limit opponents to 32 percent beyond the arc for third in the MW and 88th in the NCAA. Wyoming's 17.4 fouls per game are second in the conference and 54th nationally.

Third-year head coach Dave Wojcik and San Jose State are 5-11 overall and 0-4 in the conference for 11th in the MW. Three of those wins have come at home and three of the Spartans' four league losses have come by single digits. Against the Rams, SJSU led for over 31 minutes and owned an 84-83 lead with less than two minutes left in overtime, but CSU retook the advantage with 10 seconds left. The Spartans got a floater from inside the key off with two seconds to go, but it rolled off the rim. SJSU shot 48 percent (29-of-61) from the field and 78 percent (18-of-23) at the charity stripe, but just 30 percent (8-of-27) from deep. It was the same for the Rams, who shot 44 percent (28-of-64) and 89 percent (24-of-27), but just 28 percent (5-of-18) from three. CSU led 38-32 in rebounds and 42-30 in points in the paint, but the Spartans got 40 points from their bench. Overall, San Jose State scores 75.2 points per game on 44 percent from the field and 31 percent from three. The Spartans create 16.3 assists per game for first in the MW and 50th in the NCAA. Defensively, SJSU allows 75.4 points on 43 and 37 percent, respectively, as the Spartans are last in the league in three-point defense. They own a plus 1.6 rebounding margin and minus 0.6 turnover margin. San Jose State's 1.2 assist-turnover ratio is third in the conference.

Each Team's Leaders
Junior guard Jason McManamen paced the Pokes against the Rebels with 17 points, including a career-high five threes. He averages 12.3 points per game, as his team-best 43 percent from deep is second in the MW and his 2.4 triples are third. Senior guard Josh Adams had a season-low 12 points versus UNLV, but still averages 24.8 per game for first in the MW and fourth in the NCAA. Many of those points come beyond the arc, as his 2.9 threes per game lead the league and rank 47th in the nation. He also paces the Pokes at 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He is one of four players in the nation to average 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. Sophomore guard Jeremy Lieberman posted a career-high 13 points against Air Force last Wednesday, but was held scoreless versus the Rebels. One of three California natives for the Pokes, he averages 2.6 points and 1.3 assists per contest. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon is Wyoming's top big man at 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while fellow sophomore forward Jonathan Barnes rounds out UW's probable starters at 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Senior forward Frank Rogers leads the Spartans at 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He is 12th in the MW in scoring, fifth in rebounds and third at 52 percent from the field. His six double-doubles this season pace the conference and rank 37th nationally. He had 12 points versus the Rams. Freshman forward Ryan Welage also averages in double figures at 11.6 points and 6.6 rebounds. He is 10th in the MW in boards and third in defensive rebounds at 5.3, including 16 points and five rebounds against CSU. Redshirt senior guard Princeton Onwas contributes 12.2 points after coming off the bench for a game-high 24 points against the Rams. A total of 10 different players have started a game for San Jose State this season, as Rogers is the only Spartan to have started all 16 contests.

About the Series
The Cowboys are 8-1 all-time against the Spartans, including 3-1 in San Jose. Wyoming has won the last four meetings between the two, including most recently a 77-60 home victory on Feb. 14, 2015. In that game, the Spartans briefly cut the lead to single digits on a three early in the second half, but Wyoming responded with four-straight dunks to push the lead back to 17 and never looked back. Adams had a game-high 26 points.

Up Next
Wyoming plays its sixth road game in the last eight contests at New Mexico on Saturday.