Nov. 21, 2011
Laramie, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team continues a busy early-season schedule by hosting South Dakota on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. The contest will be the fourth game in 11 days for the Cowboys, as UW looks to rebound from a loss at Green Bay on Saturday. The Pokes (2-1) and Coyotes (1-2) meet for the third-straight season, with each team coming away with a victory in the previous two matchups. 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 returns to Laramie looking to rebound from its first loss of the season. The Cowboys lost a 52-44 game at Green Bay on Saturday in their first road game of 2011-12. The UW defense played well against the Phoenix, but the offense sputtered down the stretch. Wyoming is 2-0 this season in the Arena-Auditorium, boasting wins over Western State, 78-39, and Northern Colorado, 75-56. Wyoming is averaging 65.7 points per game while shooting 44 percent (63-of-142) from the field, but has relied on its lock-down defense. The Cowboys are allowing their opponents 49.0 points per game and a 31.7 field goal percentage, both of which are best in the Mountain West.
South Dakota is 1-2 on the season, after picking up an 83-81 win over Nebraska-Omaha in its season opener on Sunday. The Coyotes started 2011-12 with road losses at Nebraska, 65-48, and Eastern Washington, 70-61. Longtime head coach Dave Boots returns seven letterwinners and four starters from a squad that went 18-15 last season. USD has shot 31 percent (21-of-67) from beyond the arc, while averaging 64.0 points per game. As a team, the Coyotes have a -4.0 rebound and -1.0 turnover margin.
Each Team's Leaders
The Cowboys will look to get their guards going again on Tuesday against South Dakota. Senior Francisco Cruz had 30 points against Northern Colorado last Tuesday, but scored just nine in UW's road game at Green Bay on Saturday. His 16.7 points per game currently ranks third in the Mountain West. Likewise, redshirt junior Luke Martinez is averaging 9.0 points per game, but went 0-8 from the field against the Phoenix.
Wyoming's inside game has been solid this season, though, behind the play of senior center Adam Waddell and redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington. The duo combined for 17 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks and five steals against Green Bay. Washington is averaging 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest, while Waddell contributes 8.7 and 2.3. The two have a combined nine blocks this season.
South Dakota will rely on senior guards Charlie Westbrook and Louie Krogman on Tuesday, as both are averaging 13.7 points through USD's first three games. Westbrook adds. 3.0 rebounds and a team-high 2.3 assists per game, while Krogman has a team-high seven treys and is 35 percent (7-of-20) beyond the arc. Krogman posted 29 points against UW last season.
Inside, the Coyotes are led by senior forward Ricardo Andreotti and sophomore center Trevor Gruis. Andreotti has a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game to go with 4.0 points and 1.6 blocks. The 6'10" Gruis is contributing 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds to go with 1.3 blocks.
About the Series
The Cowboys lead the all-time series with South Dakota 4-2, but lost an 80-70 contest last season in Vermillion. Four UW players scored in double figures in the last meeting, including 15 points and nine rebounds from Amath M'Baye, but the Coyotes came away with the win. In their last meeting in Laramie, Wyoming claimed an 86-74 win thanks to a game-high 19 points from Afam Muojeke. UW is 4-1 against the Coyotes in Laramie.
Wyoming hosts the Jim Thorpe Classic this weekend in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys face Portland State on Friday, Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday and Louisiana Tech on Sunday. All three games will tip at 7 p.m.