LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Arena-Auditorium to host Fresno State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT. The Cowboys (12-14, 5-8 MW) will look to avenge a 71-60 road loss to the Bulldogs (16-9, 7-5 MW) on Jan. 26, but Fresno State was victorious in its trip to Laramie last season. The two have split their last six meetings.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or online at GoWYO.com. Fans can follow live stats, audio and video through the gameday central page on GoWYO.com. The contest will be televised by ROOT Sports (Charter: 523, DirecTV: 659) and broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
The Pokes and head coach Larry Shyatt dropped up to eighth in the league standings at 12-14 overall and 5-8 in the conference after a 91-74 loss at Boise State last Saturday. The Cowboys were within nine points with eight minutes left, but the Broncos closed with a 24-10 run to hand UW just its sixth loss by double digits this season. After a school-record 20 threes in their last outing, the Pokes made 11 on 46 percent (11-of-24) beyond the arc and 46 percent (22-of-48) from the field. Boise State connected on 55 percent (32-of-58) from the field and 42 percent (10-of-24) from deep, while the Broncos earned a 33-20 advantage on the boards for a 40-18 lead in points in the paint. BSU’s 94 points tied a season high for a UW foe, while its 55 percent from the field was a season high as well. On the season, Wyoming averages 69.9 points on 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep. The Cowboys rank first in the conference beyond the arc, while their 9.7 triples per game are first in the MW and 17th in the NCAA. Their 73 percent at the free-throw line is fourth in the league and 68th in the nation. The Pokes turn the ball over just 11.6 times per game, good for third in the MW and 61st in the NCAA. Defensively, Wyoming allows 71.1 points on 43 and 34 percent, respectively. Wyoming’s 18.3 fouls per game are third in the conference and 98th nationally.
Head coach Rodney Terry and Fresno State are tied for fourth in the MW standings at 16-9 overall and 7-5 in league play. The Bulldogs are 2-2 since beating Wyoming, including a 77-72 overtime loss at Nevada last Saturday. Fresno State scored seven of the first nine points in the extra period for a 70-65 lead, but the Wolf Pack responded with a 9-2 stretch to move in front 74-72 with 25 seconds to go and added three free throws down the stretch. Fresno State shot just 30 percent (20-of-67) from the field and 35 percent (10-of-29) from deep. Nevada won the rebounding battle, 57-32, but the Bulldogs earned a 23-2 lead in points off turnovers thanks to just five turnovers. Overall, the Bulldogs average 74.0 points per game on 42 percent from the field and 32 percent beyond the arc. Their 13.2 offensive rebounds lead the MW and are 34th in the NCAA. Defensively, Fresno State allows 69.9 points, third in the league, on 41 and 32 percent. The Bulldogs nab 8.2 steals per game for second in the MW and 22nd in the NCAA, while their plus 4.0 turnover margin is first and ninth, respectively.
Each Team’s Leaders
Senior guard Josh Adams had 16 points at Boise State last Saturday, but averages 24.3 per game for first in the MW and fifth in the NCAA. He also paces the Pokes at 5.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Adams’ 2.9 threes per game are second in the league and 34th nationally, while his 37 percent from deep is sixth in the MW. Junior guard Jason McManamen is just as hot beyond the arc, as his team-best 45 percent from deep leads the MW and ranks 19th in the NCAA. His 2.8 triples are third in the conference, as he has hit 18 over the last four games. McManamen scored 13 points against the Broncos and he averages 13.2 per game for 13th in the league. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon contributed nine points and a team-high five rebounds at Boise State. He averages 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 block per game, including nine stuffs over the last six games. Sophomores Jeremy Lieberman and Jonathan Barnes were UW’s other starters versus the Broncos. Lieberman has started the last 11 games.
The Bulldogs are paced by Marvell Harris, the MW Preseason Player of the Year. The senior guard’s 19.7 points per game are third in the league, while his 4.2 assists are first in the MW and his 2.1 steals are second. He also leads the conference with a 2.1 assist-turnover ratio. He finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals at Nevada. Junior forward Torren Jones is the other Bulldog to average in double-figure points at 10.5 per game. His team-high 7.9 rebounds are fourth in the MW, while his 3.4 offensive rebounds per game are second in the conference. Fellow junior forward Karachi Edo’s 7.0 rebounds per game are seventh in the league, while his 3.5 offensive boards pace the MW and rank 25th in the NCAA. He adds 9.3 points and a team-high 1.4 blocks per game. Jones, Edo and junior guard Paul Watson are FS’ top three scorers behind Harris, but none of the three played at Nevada.
About the Series
The Cowboys trail the Bulldogs in the all-time series, 9-13, but are 8-2 in meetings in Laramie. Fresno State’s last trip to Wyoming was a 64-59 win, though, on Feb. 25, 2015. In the last meeting between the two, the Bulldogs downed the Pokes, 71-60, on Jan. 26. The Cowboys led the majority of the first half and opened the second half with a three, but went cold from there. Wyoming would mount one last effort and was down three with six minutes left, but Fresno State would finish on a 17-9 run to hold on. Adams had 32 points in the game.
Wyoming travels south to Colorado State for the 225th Border War on Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo. Tip is set for 2 p.m. MT in Moby Arena.