UW Men Face Early-Season Test Against Northern Colorado

Nov. 14, 2011

Laramie, Wyo. -

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With a solid season-opening win under its belt, the Wyoming men's basketball team faces a tough early-season test on Tuesday when the Cowboys host Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. The Bears claimed a 67-53 win over UW last season en route to the NCAA Tournament, but lost four starters and five letterwinners from that squad. The Cowboys rolled to an easy 78-39 season-opening win over Western State with several new faces on the floor and now look for a measure of revenge against UNC.

Tickets to all UW basketball games can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or going online at WyomingAthletics.com.

Fans can also follow live stats and live audio of the game, as well as live video of the postgame press conference, through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on the website. The contest will be broadcast on the radio through the Cowboy Sports Network.

A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming started the second stint of head coach Larry Shyatt on a positive note with a 78-39 win over Western State on Saturday in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys dominated the stat sheet, shooting 53 percent (28-of-52) from the field and holding the Mountaineers to 26 percent (12-of-45). UW outrebounded WSC 40-25, had a 13-4 advantage in assists and earned 15 steals to five for Western State. All 14 Cowboys on the roster saw action and 13 played more than 10 minutes, as Wyoming will look to continue to develop its young players early in the season.

Northern Colorado had a magical 2010-11 season that saw it finish 21-11 overall, win the Big Sky at 13-3 and make an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Second-year head coach B.J. Hill's task will be a little more difficult in 2011-12, as he returns just one starter and five letterwinners from last season. He will rely heavily on several players that came off the bench last year to step into leadership roles this year. UNC started its 2011-12 campaign with an 89-75 home loss to New Mexico State on Saturday night.

Each Team's Leaders
It was a night for newcomers on Saturday, as eight Cowboys made their first career appearance in UW's win over Western State. Redshirt juniors Leonard Washington and Luke Martinez, who both redshirted last season, proved they were worth the wait, as the duo combined for 27 points and missed just two of its 20 shot attempts in 28 minutes of action.

Leonard posted 14 points on 6-of-7 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line, while Martinez went 3-of-3 from the field, 1-of-1 behind the arc and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. The two also had four rebounds and four steals.

Senior guard Francisco Cruz added 11 points, six rebounds and three assists, while freshman forward Larry Nance Jr. contributed eight points and seven rebounds in a game-high 25 minutes of action.

Redshirt junior guard Elliott Lloyd is UNC's only returning starter, but came off the bench for nine points in 21 minutes in the Bears' first game of the season. He averaged 7.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 31 contests last season.

Redshirt sophomore guard Tate Unruh contributed 2.9 points in 21 appearances in 2010-11, but posted a team-high 15 points against NMSU. He went 5-of-11 from the field and 3-of-7 from deep to go with three steals and three assists. Likewise, sophomore guard Paul Garcia was a key role player last year and scored 14 points versus NMSU.

Senior forward Mike Proctor scored 5.4 points and 5.6 rebounds off the bench last season and had four points and three rebounds in his start against NMSU.

About the Series
The Cowboys are 45-18 all-time versus the Bears, including 28-6 in Laramie. Wyoming has a 9-1 record in the two programs' last 10 meetings, but Northern Colorado earned a 67-53 during the 2010-11 season in the last contest. The loss broke a 20-game winning streak for the Cowboys against the Bears.

Up Next
Wyoming travels for its first road game to Wisconsin to face Green Bay on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m., before returning home to face South Dakota on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in the Arena-Auditorium at 7 p.m.