LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Head coach Larry Shyatt and the University of Wyoming men's basketball team return to the friendly confines of the Arena-Auditorium on Thursday when the Cowboys hosts New Mexico Highlands at 7 p.m. MT. The Pokes (1-1) are looking to rebound from a 70-55 setback in their road opener last Monday, while the Cowboys (1-1) are coming off an exhibition loss at UNLV last Monday. Wyoming is seeking its 14th-straight nonconference win in the Dome of Doom.
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, audio and video of the game through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on GoWYO.com. The contest will be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming opened the road portion of its 2015-16 schedule with a 70-55 loss at Indiana State last Monday. The Pokes trailed by 16 points early in the second half before hitting back-to-back threes. The spark led to a 10-2 Wyoming run that pulled the Cowboys within 42-36, but that would be as close as the Cowboys would get. The Sycamores responded with a 16-3 run of their own to go ahead by 19 at 58-39 with six minutes left. Wyoming shot just 35 percent (19-of-55) from the field, 23 percent (7-of-30) from deep and 53 percent (10-of-19) at the free-throw line. Indiana State didn't hit much better at 38 percent (22-of-58) from the field and 25 percent (7-of-28) beyond the arc, but earned a 47-35 advantage on the boards for an 8-1 lead in second-chance points. The Pokes were picked to finish eighth in the MW preseason media poll.
Craig Snow enters his second season at the helm for New Mexico Highlands. The Cowboys went 6-22 overall last season, including 5-17 in league play for 11th in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. NMHU returns four starters from that squad, though, and has started 2015-16 with a 1-1 mark. The Cowboys downed Eastern New Mexico, 85-77, last Friday, but lost to West Texas A&M, 89-74, last Saturday at the RMAC Shootout. New Mexico Highlands also has lost exhibition games at Grand Canyon, 84-53, on Nov. 5 and, most recently, at UNLV, 107-45, last Monday. The Cowboys average 79.5 points per game on 46 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep, but allow 83.0 points on 39 and 29 percent, respectively. NMHU has a minus 10.0 rebounding margin and minus 4.0 turnover margin this season. The Cowboys were picked 10th in the RMAC preseason poll.
Each Team's Leaders
Senior guard Josh Adams posted his 59th career game in double-figure points with 13 at Indiana State, while his five assists against the Sycamores moved him into 10th in UW's history books with 276 in his career. The preseason All-MW selection also added six rebounds and three steals. Junior guard Jason McManamen added 10 points and three rebounds thanks to three triples. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon had three points, two rebounds and a block in 19 minutes as nine Cowboys played at least 13 minutes. Redshirt sophomore guard Trey Washington III and sophomore forward Jonathan Barnes made their first career starts in brown and gold, but finished with a combined six points and five rebounds. Shyatt has said the starting lineup will be fluid based on matchups and as many as nine or 10 Pokes could be in the rotation.
Junior forward Marlon Johnson paces the Cowboys at 18.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. He is shooting 50 percent from the field this season. Senior guard Jonathon Mines, a preseason All-RMAC pick, also contributes 18.0 points per game to go with 3.5 rebounds and a team-high 3.0 assists. Senior guard Kendrick Nichols was also named to the preseason All-RMAC team and adds 14.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest. Junior guard James Healy rounds out NMHU's double-figure scorers at 14.0 points to go with 4.5 rebounds. Redshirt junior forward Torin Washington is the other Cowboy starter at 3.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. NMHU has used the same starting lineup in both games this season.
About the Series
Thursday is the first meeting between Wyoming and New Mexico Highlands
The Pokes travel to Billings, Mont., on Sunday for a neutral-site contest with Montana State at Rimrock Auto Arena. Tip is set for 2 p.m. MT.