Cowboys and Aztecs Battle Saturday in Key MWC Contest

Jan. 27, 2006

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowboys and San Diego State Aztecs meet Saturday in what is the featured game of the Mountain West Conference schedule this weekend. The game is scheduled to tip off at 2:00 p.m., Mountain time from Wyoming's Arena-Auditorium.

San Diego State currently leads the conference race with a 6-1 MWC record. The Aztecs are 13-6 overall this season, and were the preseason pick by conference media members to win the Mountain West title this season.

The Wyoming Cowboys are the surprise team in the MWC this year. UW was picked seventh in the preseason poll of conference writers and broadcasters, but the Cowboys enter this week tied for third place with UNLV -- both teams have 4-2 conference records.

With a win Saturday, the Pokes could move into a tie for second place with Air Force at 5-2. The Falcons are idle this weekend. The Cowboys have posted an 11-8 overall record this season. A Wyoming victory Saturday would also put the Cowboys just a half game back of San Diego State for the conference lead.

Not only is Saturday's game between the Wyoming Cowboys and San Diego State Aztecs the most important matchup on the Mountain West Conference schedule this weekend, but it will also feature some of the league's most exciting players.

The only two players in the Mountain West Conference to average a double-double this season will face off against one another Saturday. Wyoming senior forward Justin Williams is averaging 11.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season. SDSU junior forward Marcus Slaughter averages 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds.

Williams leads the league in blocked shots (5.9 blocks per game), and ranks second behind only Slaughter in rebounding.

The two both rank among the nation's top rebounders. Slaughter ranks No. 7 in the nation in rebounding, while Williams ranks No. 11. Williams also ranks No. 2 in the NCAA in blocked shots.

Also featured in Saturday's game are five of the top 20 scorers in the Mountain West this season.

San Diego State junior guard Brandon Heath leads the MWC in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per game. Slaughter is No. 5 in the MWC at 16.6 ppg.

The Cowboys have three individuals ranked among the Top 20 scorers in the MWC. Junior forward Steve Leven is ranked No. 9 (13.1 ppg), freshman guard Brandon Ewing is tied for No. 15 (11.5 ppg) and Williams is No. 18 (11.3 ppg).

The only television coverage of Saturday's game is a local telecast by Channel 4 of San Diego back to the San Diego television market. The Cowboy Sports Network will, as always, broadcast the game beginning with the pregame show at 1:30 p.m.