LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Fresh off two dramatic overtime victories, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team is right back to action on Tuesday at Utah State. The Cowboys (17-3, 6-1 MW) sit alone atop the Mountain West and are receiving votes in both national polls thanks in part to four-straight road victories, but haven't won in Logan since 1975. The Aggies (11-8, 4-3 MW) are 7-3 at home this season and have won two of their last three MW contests. Tip is set for 7 p.m. MT in Smith Spectrum.
Fans can follow live stats and audio of the game through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on GoWYO.com. The contest will be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network and televised by ROOT Sports. Contact your local cable or satellite provider for further channel information.
A Look at the Matchup
Head coach Larry Shyatt helped Wyoming move to 17-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference with a dramatic 63-62 overtime win over New Mexico on Saturday in front of 10,167 fans in the Arena-Auditorium. After missing a chance to tie the game with two free throws, the Cowboys came up with a steal and a dunk with three seconds left to cap a furious comeback after trailing by five with a minute left in the extra period. UNM couldn't get a last shot off, as the Pokes snapped a string of eight-straight losses to the Lobos. Wyoming shot a below-average 39 percent (18-of-46) from the field, but hit 35 percent (8-of-23) from beyond the arc and 86 percent (19-of-22) at the free throw line. The Pokes were outrebounded 30-25, but committed only 13 turnovers, including just three in the second half, to 16 for the Lobos. Wyoming was held to a season-low 16 points in the paint, but assisted on 15 of 18 baskets. On the season, Wyoming averages 63.8 points per game on 49 percent from the field and 32 percent beyond the arc. The Cowboys rank first in the MW and 14th nationally in field-goal percentage, while their 1.33 assist-to-turnover ratio is third in the MW and 33rd in the nation. Defensively, the Pokes allow 53.7 points per game on 40 and 33 percent, respectively. UW's scoring defense is first in the MW and third in the NCAA, while its 13.5 fouls per game are first in the league and second in the nation.
Long-time head coach Stew Morrill is in his last go-round with Utah State and currently has the Aggies sixth in the MW standings at 11-8 overall and 4-3 in league play. Most recently USU lost a 79-77 overtime game at UNLV on Saturday. The Rebels hit two free throws in the final seconds to secure the win. The Aggies average 66.3 points per game for fifth in the MW, while their 44 percent from the field is seventh and 40 percent beyond the arc is second. Defensively, Utah State allows 63.2 points for sixth in the conference. The Aggies rank second in the MW allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent from the field and first in three-point defense at 28 percent. USU's 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio is second in the league.
Each Team's Leaders
Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. posted 23 points against the Lobos for his second-straight contest with 20 or more. The leading candidate for MW Player of the Year has scored in double figures in nine-straight games and averages 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. His 57 percent from the field this season ranks 23rd in the NCAA. Junior guard Josh Adams has stepped up his game recently as well. He notched 20 points against the Lobos for his 10th-consecutive game in double figures. He averages 11.9 points and 3.0 rebounds, while his 3.7 assists per game are second in the MW. Senior guard Riley Grabau hit three treys versus New Mexico to move into a tie for sixth all-time with 136 in his career. He contributes 8.0 points and 2.2 assists per game, while shooting a MW- and NCAA-best 95 percent at the free throw line. Senior forward Derek Cooke Jr. can shoot as well, hitting a league-leading 75 percent from the field to average 8.1 points and 5.0 rebounds. Senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. rounds out UW's probable starters at 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per contest.
Sophomore guard Jalen Moore's 15.8 points and 7.3 rebounds pace Utah State. He ranks fifth in the conference in points and fourth in boards, as he finished with a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds against UNLV. Redshirt freshman David Collette is ninth in the MW at 13.1 points, while his 56 percent from the field is sixth. He adds 4.8 rebounds and a team-high 1.8 blocks. He notched 24 points versus the Rebels. Junior guard Chris Smith is USU's other scorer in double figures at 11.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He shoots 46 percent from deep for fifth in the conference. Junior guard Darius Perkins contributes 9.9 points and 3.3 assists, while freshman guard Julion Pearre rounds out USU's probable starters at 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Utah State's roster this season features just two seniors.
About the Series
Wyoming owns a 45-24 advantage in the all-time series with Utah State and is 16-17 in Logan. The home team has won the last four contests between the two, including a 65-54 Cowboy loss on March 5, 2014, in the last meeting. Josh Adams scored 21 points in that game and the Pokes were within two points of Utah State with five minutes remaining, but the Aggies closed the game on a 15-6 run.
The Cowboys host Nevada on Saturday at 4 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.