March 4, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
On Saturday afternoon, the Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will close out the 2010-11 regular season hoping to play the role of spoiler as they travel to No. 3 ranked BYU.
The Cougars are looking to clinch at least a share of the 2011 Mountain West Conference Regular-Season Championship with a win. BYU enters the final weekend of league play tied for first place with San Diego State.
The game, which will be televised by The Mtn., will begin at 1:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) from the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
A Look at the Matchup with No. 3 Ranked BYU:
The Wyoming Cowboys enter Saturday's game with a 10-19 overall record and 3-12 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Pokes have dropped two straight games, at UNLV last Saturday and at home to No. 9 ranked San Diego State this past Tuesday.
BYU, who is currently ranked No. 3 in both national polls, is 27-3 overall and 13-2 in the MWC. The Cougars are looking to bounce back from a home loss to New Mexico this past Wednesday. It was their first home loss of the season.
Despite a great effort from the Cowboys in the first meeting of the season, BYU held on for a 69-62 win in Laramie back on Feb. 2.
Each Team's Leaders:
The Cowboys are led by the best duo of sophomores in the MWC, Desmar Jackson and Amath M'Baye. Among all underclassmen in the conference, Jackson is ranked as the second best scorer (14.9 ppg) and the fifth best rebounder (5.0 rpg), while M'Baye is the fourth best scorer (12.1 ppg) and the third best rebounder (5.6 rpg).
M'Baye has been outstanding for Cowboys over the past six games, as he has averaged 18.8 points a game during that stretch. Jackson, who led the Cowboys with 16 points against San Diego State last Tuesday, has scored in double figures in 24 games this season.
BYU is led by National Player of the Year candidate Jimmer Fredette. Fredette is the nation's leading scorer with a 27.5 points per game average. He also leads the Cougars and ranks No. 3 in the MWC in assists with 4.40 per game. Fellow senior guard Jackson Emery is BYU's second-leading scorer with a 12.6 points per game average. The Cougars will be without their third leading scorer and best rebounder for the rest of the season, sophomore Brandon Davies. Davies was suspended for the remainder of the season this past week.
Cowboys and Cougars Meet for the 174th and Possibly Last Time:
This Saturday's game will mark the 174th meeting between Wyoming and BYU on the basketball floor. It may also be the final meeting between the two schools for some time, as BYU will leave the MWC to join the West Coast Conference next season. The 174 meetings makes this the second-longest series for the Cowboys. The only school the Pokes have played more is Colorado State (215 meetings).
BYU leads the all-time series 104-69 and are 66-14 in games played in Provo. The Cowboys have not won a game in the Marriott Center since Feb. 12, 2005.
On the Horizon:
The Cowboys will open the 2011 Conoco Mountain West Conference Championships on Wednesday in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Regardless of Saturday's outcome, the Cowboys will be the No. 8 seed in the tournament and will play No. 9 seeded TCU in the first round. That game will begin at 3 p.m. (Mountain Time) and will be televised by The Mtn.