Feb. 18, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team takes its two-game winning streak on the road on Tuesday, as the Cowboys face San Diego State at 8 p.m. MT in Viejas Arena. The Pokes (18-7, 4-7 MW) sit seventh in the Mountain West standings and start a stretch run against five teams in front of them with the Aztecs (18-7, 6-5 MW), who are 11-1 at home this season. Tuesday's game is the first time Wyoming has played an unranked San Diego State team since 2010.
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 Time Warner Cable SportsNet, which is available on DirecTV channel 691.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming is 18-7 on the season and 4-7 in the MW for seventh in the standings after its first back-to-back wins in the conference this season. Most recently, the Pokes earned a come-from-behind 55-51 overtime win over Fresno State last Saturday at home. After trailing by double figures the first 10 minutes of the second half, Wyoming scored eight-consecutive points over the final 3:20 of the game to force overtime with the score tied at 49. In the final session, UW outscored the Bulldogs 6-2 for the win. The Pokes rank first in the MW and eighth in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing just 55.3 points per game. UW has allowed MW opponents to shoot just 29 percent beyond the arc, second in the league. Wyoming ranks eighth in the league in scoring at 62.4 points, as four of its lowest point totals of the season have come in MW play. Its plus 2.3 turnover margin is second in the MW, while its 14.9 personal fouls per game are 18th in the NCAA
Head coach Steve Fisher and San Diego State are currently 18-7 overall on the season and 6-5 in league play for a third-place tie in the MW standings. SDSU began conference play 6-3, but lost two games by a combined eight points last week. Most recently, the Aztecs lost a 72-70 game at UNLV last Wednesday. After a 14-0 run gave the Rebels their largest lead at 67-57, the Aztecs came back and had a chance to go ahead in the final seconds, but Jamaal Franklin with whistled for a traveling violation with two seconds remaining. The Aztec offense scores 69.7 points per game on 44 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep, but shoots just 67 percent at the free throw line. SDSU ranks fifth in the MW in field goal percentage, seventh beyond the arc and last in free throw percentage. Defensively, the Aztecs allow 38 percent from the field to lead the MW and rank 21st nationally. SDSU's 14.3 fouls per rank 10th in the NCAA.
Each Team's Leaders
Senior forward Leonard Washington posted his third-straight double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds against Fresno State, while adding three blocks and two steals. He is the first Cowboy to accomplish the feat since Justin Williams in 2005-06, but may not play on Tuesday after suffering an ankle injury late in the game against the Bulldogs. Washington's 13.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 steals all lead the Cowboys and rank in the top 10 of the MW stats. Senior guard Derrious Gilmore posted 12 points versus the Bulldogs, as he leads the league during MW play in threes per game (2.6) and three percentage (38.9). Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. tied career highs in steals (5), assists (4) and blocks (3) against FSU. He averages 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds on the season. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau sports a team-high 2.6 assists and adds 5.5 points, while freshman guard Josh Adams averages 6.4 points and 1.5 assists on the season.
The reigning MW Player of the Year, junior guard Jamaal Franklin has been just as impressive this season. He nearly averages a double-double at 16.9 points and 9.1 rebounds to go with 3.2 assists. He ranks in the top 10 of 10 MW statistical categories, including third in points and rebounds. Senior guard Chase Tapley was selected to the preseason All-MW team as well and has shown why. He averages 14.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists. His 40 percent from deep is second in the MW and his 2.3 threes per game are fifth. SDSU has been battling injuries, as well. Junior guard Xavier Thames adds 9.2 points and 1.9 assists, but has missed time with a back injury, while senior guard James Rahon started against UNLV, but suffered a shoulder injury early in the game. Senior forward DeShawn Stephens contributes 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds, while sophomore forward JJ O'Brien adds 7.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. Tapley scored 22 against UNLV and O'Brien added 15 and 11.
About the Series
The Pokes own a 38-34 advantage in the all-time series with the Aztecs, but are 11-21 in San Diego and 3-7 in the last 10 meetings. UW's 58-45 home win over SDSU on Jan. 19 broke a five-game winning streak for the Aztecs in the series.
Wyoming returns home to host UNLV on Saturday at 5:30 p.m in the Double A.