Nov. 18, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team concludes play in the Global Sports Main Event by hosting Jackson State at 7:30 p.m. MT tonight in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys (2-1) are coming off a dominant 85-64 home win over Arkansas State last Saturday, while the Tigers (1-3) will be playing their third road game in five days tonight.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or online at GoWYO.com. Fans can follow live stats and audio of the game through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on GoWYO.com. The contest will also be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming is 2-1 on the young 2013-14 season, after claiming a decisive 85-64 win over Arkansas State last Saturday. The Pokes led 56-32 at halftime and stretched the lead to as many as 28 points midway through the second half en route to handing the Red Wolves their first loss of the season. Wyoming led by 24 at halftime, but Arkansas State opened the second half with an 11-2 run to cut the advantage to 15 points just three minutes in. UW pushed the advantage over 20 again, though, and the Pokes cruised from there. Wyoming's season-high 85 points came courtesy of season highs in all three shooting categories. The Pokes made 56 percent (27-of-48) from the field, 47 percent (8-of-17) beyond the arc and 76 percent (23-of-30) at the free throw line. The Cowboys added a season-high 36 points in the paint, while outrebounding the Red Wolves 35-28. UW's bench scored 14 points for its third game in a row in double figures. The Cowboys continued to get balanced production, as the bench scored a season-high 36 points. Wyoming's bench has scored in double figures in all three games and at least eight Pokes have scored in each contest. The Cowboy defense continued to show improvement as well, as Wyoming held Arkansas State to 35 percent (20-of-56) from the field and 34 percent (9-of-26) beyond the arc. Wyoming, who was picked to finish seventh in the Mountain West, returned three starters and 10 letterwinners.
Jackson State went 11-18 overall last season and 9-9 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference to earn the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. The Tigers won in the quarterfinals, before falling in the semifinals to end their season. First-year head coach Wayne Brent inherited just two letterwinners and one starter from that squad, though. Jackson State has 12 newcomers on its 2013-14 roster and was picked to finish fifth in the preseason SWAC poll. The Tigers have started their season 1-3, as tonight will be their third road game in five days. JSU earned an 84-82 win at Air Force last Thursday, before falling 90-74 at Colorado last Saturday. The Buffs led 46-35 at halftime and stretched the advantage over 20 most of the second half. CU shot over 60 percent from the field and 50 percent beyond the arc, while holding the Tigers to below 40 percent in each. The Tigers committed 27 fouls to help CU go 29-of-43 at the free throw line.
Each Team's Leaders
Junior guard Riley Grabau paces Wyoming at 14.0 points and 3.6 assists per game, as he is shooting a team-high 50 percent (8-of-16) beyond the arc. Grabau posted 16 points and three assists against Arkansas State, but it was Josh Adams who really shined against the Red Wolves. The sophomore guard posted career highs of 20 points and six assists, as he averages 12.7 points and 3.3 assists on the season. Junior forward Larry Nance Jr. also contributes 12.7 points per game and adds a team-high 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He posted 18 points and six rebounds against Arkansas State. Junior forward Derek Cooke Jr. pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds versus the Red Wolves and averages 6.0 boards and 5.3 points, while senior guard Nathan Sobey rounds out Wyoming's probable starters at 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.
Freshman guard Javeres Brent leads the Jackson State attack at 14.8 points per game, as he shoots a team-high 39 percent (14-of-36) from deep. Senior guard Julysses Nobles is JSU's only other scorer in double figures at 13.8 per game. He is second on the team at 6.3 rebounds and paces the Tigers at 3.7 assists per game. Brent and Nobles have combined with five other Tigers to make at least one start this season. Freshman forward Treshawn Bolden, graduate student center Brandon West and senior guard Jeff Stubbs are the only Tigers to start all four games this season. West adds 9.5 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Bolden and Stubbs contribute 5.3 and 7.8 points per game, respectively. Nine Tigers played at least 13 minutes in Jackson State's loss at Colorado.
About the Series
Saturday will be the first meeting between Wyoming and Jackson State.
The Pokes host South Dakota at 8 p.m. on Friday in the Arena-Auditorium.