Cowboys Face MWC Leading Aztecs on Saturday in California

Jan. 18, 2008


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The Wyoming Cowboys will be looking to break an 0-3 start in the Mountain West Conference when the Cowboys travel to San Diego on Saturday, Jan. 19 to face the MWC leader San Diego State Aztecs. Only three games into conference play, the Aztecs are the only remaining unbeaten team in the Mountain West, with a 3-0 conference record. Wyoming enters Saturday's game with a 6-9 overall record. SDSU is 13-4 this season. Saturday's game will be televised live nationally on CSTV, beginning at 9 p.m., Mountain Time (8 p.m., Pacific). The game will be broadcast live on radio over the Cowboy Sports Network, beginning with the pregame show at 8:30 p.m., Mountain Time.

For the Cowboys, it is the first time in the nine seasons of the MWC that they have begun conference play 0-3. Wyoming started 0-2 only one other time in the nine seasons of the Mountain West. UW's other 0-2 start came in the 2004-05 season.

Last season, the Pokes recorded their one MWC road win in San Diego, capturing a 66-65 road victory in the MWC season opener for UW.

Wyoming leads the overall series versus SDSU. UW has won 35 of the previous meetings, while San Diego State has won 26. In Mountain West Conference play, Wyoming also leads, with 11 wins to eight for the Aztecs.

The recent series history between the Wyoming Cowboys and San Diego State Aztecs has been one of down-to-the-wire finishes.

Since the 1992-93 season, the series has featured a number of extremely close games. During that time period, the two teams have met 32 times . In those last 32 meetings, 24 of the 32 games have been decided by 10 points or less and 15 of the last 32 meetings have been decided by five points or less.

Of the last 32 meetings, Wyoming has won 10 of 13 meetings in Laramie, while San Diego State has won eight of 13 in San Diego. The two teams have played each other six times in conference tournament action since 1992-93. SDSU holds the advantage in those neutral-site meetings 5-1.

Never in the nine seasons of the Mountain West Conference has a player led the league in both scoring and assists in the same season. Wyoming junior point guard Brandon Ewing is vying to become the first player in MWC history to accomplish that feat.

Ewing currently is averaging 17.5 points per game and 4.73 assists per game to rank No. 1 in the MWC in both categories.

For the first time this season, the Wyoming backcourt of junior Brandon Ewing and senior Brad Jones are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Mountain West Conference in assists. Ewing has led the league in assists throughout the season, while Jones has been ranked in the Top Five throughout the year, But with six assists versus Air Force, Jones jumped to No. 2 in the league in assists, averaging 4.14 per game.

Ewing scored 21 points on Jan. 16, 2008, versus Air Force to become only the 18th player in school history to score 1,300 career points. He enters this week in 18th place on the Wyoming career scoring chart with 1,302 career points.

Jones scored 16 points versus Air Force this past Wednesday to pass Uche Nsonwu-Amadi for 29th place on the UW career scoring list. Jones has scored 1,057 career points. Nsonwu-Amadi scored 1,053 from 2001-03.

In his first season of college basketball and his first year living in the United States, Belgium native and Wyoming freshman Mikhail Linskens is beginning to make a successful transition into American-style basketball. Linskens enjoyed the best game of his Wyoming career on Jan. 16 versus Air Force. The 7'0", 270-pound true freshman grabbed a career best six rebounds, blocked a career best two shots and played a career high 24 minutes versus the Falcons. He also contributed six points, one shy of his career high seven points, which he scored against Akron earlier this season. Linskens entered the Air Force game, averaging 2.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 10.2 minutes.

Following Wyoming's road game at San Diego State, the Cowboys will return to the road next Wednesday, Jan. 23 when they play the UNLV Runnin' Rebels in Las Vegas. Next Wednesday's Wyoming-UNLV game will tip off at 8:30 p.m., Mountain Time, and will be televised live on The Mtn.