March 8, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will open the 2010 Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball Championship on Wednesday afternoon by playing Air Force for the 100th time. The game will begin at 3 p.m. (MT) at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas and will be televised live by The Mtn.
The No. 8 seeded Cowboys are currently 10-20 overall and were 3-13 in the MWC. The No. 9 seeded Falcons are 9-20 overall and finished 1-15 in league games. The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to the quarterfinals to play No. 1 seeded New Mexico.
The Cowboys and Falcons split their two previous meetings this season. Last Wednesday, the Cowboys won 58-49 in Laramie. On January 30, Air Force beat the Pokes by a score of 70-63 in Colorado Springs.
Wyoming and Air Force are no strangers in MWC Tournament action, as Wednesday's meeting will mark the fourth time in 11 years that they have played one another in the tournament. The two schools also met in the 1986 Western Athletic Conference Tournament. Wyoming has posted a 4-0 record against the Falcons in these games.
Wyoming's Leaders: The Cowboys are led in scoring by true freshman Desmar Jackson, who was selected to the All-MWC Third Team on Monday. Jackson has played extremely well over UW's last 11 games and has averaged 18.5 points a game during that stretch. On the year, he is averaging 11.6 points a game and is the fourth best freshman scorer in the MWC. Thus far this season, he has scored 348 points and currently ranks No. 10 all-time among MWC freshmen. He also ranks fourth in the MWC with 1.4 steals per game.
Junior Djibril Thiam has been very consistent for the Cowboys and is coming off his first double-double of the season, last Saturday at UNLV. He has scored in double figures in six of UW's last seven games and is currently averaging 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. His 5.3 boards rank No. 11 in the MWC.
Sophomore Adam Waddell is the Pokes' third leading scorer with 9.4 points per game. He is also averaging 5.5 rebounds per game, which is the 10th best average in the MWC.
Air Force's Leaders: Air Force is led by a pair of double-figure scorers in senior forward Grant Parker and junior guard Evan Washington. Parker is averaging 12.9 points a game and Washington is averaging 10.4 points a game. Parker and Washington also lead the Falcons' in rebounding with 4.5 rpg and 4.7 rpg, respectively. Washington was named Honorable Mention All-MWC on Monday.
Series Notes: Wednesday game will mark the 100th meeting in the series between Wyoming and Air Force. Wyoming leads the series by a mark of 71-28. The Cowboys are 5-0 in neutral-site games, four of which have come in conference tournament play.
Wyoming's Conference Tournament History: The 2010 MWC Championship will mark the 26th postseason conference tournament for the Cowboys. The Pokes have advanced to the semifinals in six of the first 10 MWC Tournaments are 7-10 all-time in the MWC Tournament. Overall, the Pokes are 17-23 in conference tournaments.
Up Next: The winner of Wednesday's first round game will advance to the quarterfinals of the MWC Championship to face the New Mexico Lobos. That quarterfinal game will be the first game on Thursday and will begin at 1 p.m. (MT).