Jan. 31, 2013
Laramie, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team renews the historic Border War on Saturday, as the Pokes square off with Colorado State at 5 p.m. in Moby Arena. The Cowboys (15-5, 2-4 MW) allow just 54 points per game for one of the top defenses in the Mountain West, while the Rams (17-4, 4-2 MW) are one of the top rebounding teams in the NCAA and have won 25-straight games in Moby.
Fans can follow live stats and live audio of Wyoming's game through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on the website. The contest will also be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network and televised by ROOT Sports (Optimum: channel 23; DirecTV: 683; Dish Network: 414). Check your cable or satellite provider for channel info.
A Look at the Matchup
The Cowboys fell to 15-5 overall and 2-5 in the MW after a close 63-59 loss to No. 20/22 New Mexico on Wednesday and currently sit eighth in the conference standings. The Pokes trailed by six with 1:53 to go, but battled back to tie the contest at 59-59 with 15 seconds left. UNM made a jumper to retake the lead, but Wyoming committed a turnover on the ensuing possession to give the ball back to the Lobos. UNM hit two free throws with seven seconds left to ice the game. Wyoming connected on a season-high 12 threes, but has lost two-straight home games for the first time under third-year head coach Larry Shyatt. The Pokes entered the week ranked first in the league and fifth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 54.8 points per game. UW's opponents shoot 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. Offensively, the Cowboys score 63.0 points per game on 44 percent from the field and 33 percent beyond the arc. UW's 6.9 threes per game are third in the MW, but the Pokes rank eighth in the MW in scoring offense. Wyoming has scored more than 60 in one conference game. UW's plus 2.6 turnover margin is second in the conference.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his first season at the helm for Colorado State and picked up where Tim Miles left off. Eustachy and the Rams sport a 17-4 overall record and 4-2 in the MW for a second-place tie in the league standings. Three of CSU's four conference wins have been by double figures, while its two losses have been 79-72 at San Diego State in overtime and 66-61 at New Mexico. The Rams have won a school-record 25 consecutive games in Moby Arena. In its latest action, Colorado State posted a dominant 77-57 home win over Boise State on Wednesday. The Rams led by 13 at halftime and never looked back, as they outrebounded the Broncos 39-33 and snagged 14 offensive boards. The Ram offense ranks third in the MW at 74.0 points per game on 44 percent from the field and 33 percent beyond the arc. CSU's plus 14.0 scoring margin leads the MW and ranks 20th nationally. Defensively, the Rams allow 60.0 points for third in the MW on 38 percent and 31 percent, respectively, for opponents. CSU is one of the top rebounding teams in the NCAA, as its 42.3 rebounds leads the MW and its plus 13.7 rebounding margin leads the nation.
Each Team's Leaders
The senior duo of forward Leonard Washington and guard Derrious Gilmore have been Wyoming's leaders this season. Washington averages team-highs of 14.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks to rank in the top nine of the MW in each stat. Gilmore posted a team-high 15 points against UNM thanks to five threes and averages 11.3 points and 2.6 assists per game. Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. contributes 10.6 points and 7.3 rebounds to round out UW's scorers in double figures. Sophomore Riley Grabau and freshman Josh Adams are the other two Cowboy guards. Grabau posted 11 points versus the Lobos, while Adams has played his way into the starting lineup after starting the year as UW's sixth man. Both average six points and Grabau adds 2.6 assists per game.
All five Colorado State starters average in double figures, led by senior center Colton Iverson at 14.0 points and 9.4 rebounds. He leads the MW and ranks 24th in the nation in rebounds, while his 56 percent from the field leads the MW and ranks 27th in the nation. He is complimented by senior forward Pierce Hornung, who is second in the MW and 29th nationally in rebounds with 9.4 per game to go with 10.0 points. Hornung posted 23 points and 13 rebounds against Boise State. Senior Dorian Green runs the points for the Rams with a team-high 3.8 assists and 12.6 points. He is fourth in the MW in assists. Fellow senior guard Wes Eikmeier is one of the top three-point threats in the conference at 11.9 points per game and senior forward Greg Smith rounds out CSU's probable starters at 11.2 points and 5.5 rebounds. Green scored 12 versus the Broncos and Eikmeier added 10.
About the Series
Saturday will be the 217th meeting between the Pokes and Rams, which is Wyoming's longest rivalry. UW has a 128-89 advantage in the all-time series, but trails 51-53 in Fort Collins. MW meetings have been very close contests. Wyoming is 16-13 against Colorado State in MW play, as 18 of the contests have been decided by six points or less and 12 by three or less. Four games have gone to overtime. Wyoming is 4-6 in its last 10 meetings with CSU, including a 54-46 loss in Fort Collins on Feb. 18, 2012, in the last matchup.
The Pokes break from MW play with a visit to CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT.