Nov. 23, 2012
Laramie, Wyo. -
Off to its best start since the 2008-09 season, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team seeks to improve on its 5-0 record when the Cowboys host CSU Bakersfield at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes captured their first win in a road opener since 2002-03 with a 69-60 victory at Northern Colorado on Wednesday, while the Roadrunners earned a 77-74 home win over Westmont in their latest action.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or going online at GoWYO.com. Fans who bring their ticket stub from the San Diego State-Wyoming football game earlier in the day can get into the basketball game for $10. Fans can also follow live stats and live video of Wyoming's games through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on the website. The contest will be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
The Cowboys have begun the 2012-13 campaign with a 5-0 mark, their best start since starting the 2008-09 season with the same record. Wyoming earned three easy wins over the likes of Western State (62-42), North Carolina Central (73-60) and South Dakota (71-51), before edging Southern, 67-60, with a second-half rally. The Pokes earned a 69-60 win at Northern Colorado on Wednesday in their latest action. The victory was another second-half rally for UW, as it gave the squad their first win in a road opener since the 2002-03 season. Wyoming ranks third in the Mountain West in scoring defense by allowing 54.6 points per game and fourth in rebounding defense at 30.0 per game. Offensively, Wyoming is second in threes per game (8.2) and fourth in three-point percentage (33.3). The Cowboys have shot 78 percent at the free throw line for second in the MW. UW's plus 4.2 turnover margin is third in the conference and its plus 1.2 assist-turnover margin is second.
Head coach Rod Barnes enters his second season at the helm for CSU Bakersfield in 2012-13, after guiding the Roadrunners to a 16-15 overall record and berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last season. He returns three starters and seven letterwinners from that squad. CSUB has started this season with a 1-4 mark, but three of the four losses have come by less than eight points. The Roadrunners opened with a 62-60 loss to UT Arlington, dropped road games at California (78-65) and Sacramento State (85-67) and lost a 76-73 home game to Loyola Marymount. Most recently, CSUB picked up its first win of the season with a 77-74 home win over Westmont on Tuesday night. The Roadrunners are averaging 68.4 points on the offensive end and 75.0 points on the defensive end. Opponents are shooting 46 percent from the field and 40 percent beyond the arc against CSUB, while the Roadrunners are connecting on 38 and 32 percent themselves.
Each Team's Leaders
Wyoming has received great leadership from its trio of seniors so far this season, as forward Leonard Washington, guard Luke Martinez and guard Derrious Gilmore all average in double figures. Washington posts 15.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, including double-doubles in three of the last four games, while Martinez adds 13.0 points thanks to nearly four treys per game. Gilmore contributes 13.4 points to go with a team-high eight steals on the season. Two sophomores, Larry Nance Jr. and Riley Grabau, round out Wyoming's probable starters. Nance, a forward, is averaging 9.2 points and 8.8 rebounds, while Grabau, a guard, has 22 assists on the season and just one turnover. Nance notched the first double-double of his career against Southern on Nov. 16 and Grabau posted a career-high six assists against South Dakota on Nov. 15. Gilmore scored a career-high 24 points against UNC, while Washington added yet another double-double.
Three Roadrunners average in double figures, led by senior guard Stephon Carter at 13.2 points per game. He also has 14 assists, 12 steals and three blocks on the season. Redshirt sophomore guard Javonte Maynor contributes 12.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, while redshirt junior guard Brandon Barnes rounds out CSUB's double-figure scorers at 11.6 points and a team-high 5.4 rebounds per game. Barnes is shooting over 43 percent from the field this season. Senior forward Adam Young adds 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds to go with seven steals, while senior guard Zach Lamb averages 4.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Senior forward Tyrone White came off the bench to score a game-high 28 points against Westmont, as he added eight rebounds and three assists. Barnes scored 24 points and added five rebounds.
About the Series
The Cowboys own a 2-0 lead in the all-time series with CSU Bakersfield, as the meetings came during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. Wyoming earned a 78-53 home win on Feb. 6, 2008 and followed with an 84-58 home win to start the 2008-09 season.
Wyoming hits the road to face UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in The Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif.