Cowboy Basketball Opens 2011 Conoco Mountain West Conference Championships on Wednesday

March 7, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. -



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The pinnacle of the 2011 Mountain West Conference basketball season will begin on Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nev., as the Wyoming Cowboys will play the TCU Horned Frogs in the opening round of the 2011 Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball Championships. The game will begin at 3 p.m. (Mountain Time) from the Thomas & Mack Center and The Mtn. will televise the game.

The winner of Wednesday's opening round game between the Cowboys and Horned Frogs will advance to the quarterfinals to play No. 1 seeded BYU. BYU won a share of the MWC Regular-Season Championship and won the tiebreaker with San Diego State to earn the top seed.

A Look at the Matchup with TCU:
The Wyoming Cowboys enter the MWC Championships with a 10-20 overall record and finished with a 3-13 mark in the Mountain West Conference.

TCU closed the regular season with a 10-21 overall record and a 1-15 mark in the MWC. The Horned Frogs have lost 13 straight games, but have had a full week to prepare for this game as they had a bye during the final week of league play.

Wyoming and TCU split their two regular-season meetings with the home team winning both games. TCU beat Wyoming 78-60 on Jan. 12 in Fort Worth and the Cowboys beat the Horned Frogs 77-67 on Feb. 12 in Laramie. The Cowboys played the first game of the season with just eight players due to injuries to senior Djibril Thiam and junior JayDee Luster.

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 (14.7 ppg) and the fifth best rebounder (4.9 rpg), while M'Baye is the fourth best scorer (12.1 ppg) and the third best rebounder (5.7 rpg).

M'Baye has been outstanding for Cowboys over the past seven games, as he has averaged 16.7 points a game during that stretch. Jackson has scored in double figures in 25 of 29 games this season. Luster leads the Cowboys in assists with an average of 3.44 per game, which is the seventh best average in the MWC.

TCU's top player Ronnie Moss, who was averaging 15.7 points a game, was been suspended indefinitely and won't play in the MWC Championships. The Horned Frogs' roster features two other players who are averaging double figures in scoring. Sophomore forward Garlon Green is averaging 11.2 points and junior guard Hank Thorns is averaging 10.4 points a game. Thorns leads the MWC in assists with 7.0 per game. Junior J.R. Cadot leads the Frogs in rebounding with 5.8 per game, which is the eighth best average in the MWC.

Cowboys and Horned Frogs Meet for the 18th Time and the Second Time in a Postseason Tournament:
This will mark the 18th meeting between Wyoming and TCU, with the Horned Frogs holding a slight 9-8 advantage. This will mark the second meeting between the schools in a postseason tournament, as the two met in the first round of the 1997 WAC Tournament. TCU won that game 72-61 in Las Vegas.

Pregame Hospitalities for Wyoming Fans:
The Cowboy Joe Club and the Wyoming Alumni Association will be hosting various pre- and post-game hospitality events at the Thomas & Mack Center based on game times.

On Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the hospitality will be located on the concourse level in what is referred to as "The Link", and will be open to Wyoming fans at the following times:

  • 12:30-2 p.m. - Game Day Buffet Station, Cash Bar available
  • 2 p.m. - Cowboy Basketball Game
  • 4-5 p.m. - Cash Bar only
  • 5-7 p.m. - Light snacks, Cash Bar available
  • 7 p.m. - Cowgirl Basketball Game

    The specific location of hospitalities in the Thomas & Mack Center will vary from day to day, but the CJC will provide fans with that information as soon as it is available. These events are open to any and all Wyoming Fans - anyone may come enjoy the cash bar, or light snacks at any time at no cost. Pricing for the hospitality buffets is listed below:

  • Gold Card CJC Members - admits 2 guests at no cost; each additional guest $10
  • Brown Card CJC Members/Alumni Association Members - $10 per person
  • Non-CJC /Alumni Assoc. Members - $20 per person