LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team plays its second of three games this week with a mid-week home matchup against CSU Bakersfield. The Pokes (2-2) are coming off a close 83-82 loss to Montana State in Billings, Mont., last Sunday, while the Roadrunners (3-0) look to continue their best start since 2005-06. Both programs rank in the top 16 in the nation in turnovers per game. Tip is set for 7 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium, as Wyoming seeks its 15th-straight nonconference win in the building.
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
Head coach Larry Shyatt and Wyoming dropped to 2-2 on the season after an 83-82 loss against Montana State last Sunday. In a game that featured 10 ties and 14 lead changes, the Cowboys had a chance to tie the game down two with 11 seconds left. The Pokes were whistled for traveling, though, and forced to foul. MSU would hit both free throws, before Wyoming connected on a three at the buzzer for the final margin. As a team, Wyoming shot 53 percent (24-of-45) from the field and 48 percent from deep (12-of-25), as the Cowboys' 12 made threes tied for sixth in UW's single-game history. The Pokes added a 22-of-31 showing (71 percent) at the charity stripe. Montana State shot 49 percent (29-of-59) from the field and 48 percent (12-of-25) beyond the arc, while claiming a 33-27 advantage on the boards. On the season, Wyoming averages 73.3 points on 46 percent from the field and 34 percent from deep, while allowing 73.3 points on 42 and 34 percent, respectively. The Cowboys make 9.7 threes per game, which ranks third in the MW and 36th in the NCAA. Wyoming's 7.3 turnovers per game this season lead the conference and the nation, while its plus 1.68 assist-turnover ratio leads the conference and is 31st nationally.
Head coach Rod Barnes returned three starters from last year and has CSU Bakersfield out to a 3-0 start to 2015-16, the program's best start since opening 2005-06 with a 5-0 mark. Wednesday will be CSUB's first road game of the season, though. The Roadrunners opened with a 93-69 win over San Diego Christian on Nov. 14, followed with a 68-45 victory over Idaho on Nov. 17 and, most recently, downed Fresno Pacific, 81-68, last Friday. CSUB led the Sunbirds by 12 at halftime and as many as 22 in the second half. Overall, the Roadrunners average 80.7 points per game on 49 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep, while holding opponents to 60.7 points on 36 and 28 percent, respectively. CSUB also takes care of the ball, as its 1.81 assist-turnover ratio is 16th in the nation and its plus 8.0 turnover margin is seventh. The Roadrunners also ranked 23rd in the NCAA at 19.3 assists per game.
Each Team's Leaders
Senior guard Josh Adams racked up a career-high 36 points against Montana State, as his 25.0 points per game this season lead the MW and rank ninth in the NCAA. That is thanks in part to 3.3 triples per game which is third in the conference and 42nd nationally. He adds 4.3 rebounds and a team-high 4.7 assists per contest. Junior guard Jason McManamen is second on the team at 8.7 points per game to go with 2.0 rebounds, while redshirt sophomore guard Trey Washington III rounds out the backcourt at 6.0 points and 2.0 assists. Both shoot better than 47 percent from the field. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon leads Wyoming's inside presence at 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. Fellow sophomore forward Jonathan Barnes adds 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds. Nine Cowboys average at least 13 minutes per game.
Senior forward Kevin Mays paces CSUB at 17.7 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, as he has a double-double in all three games this season. He posted a career-high 29 points and 13 rebounds against Fresno Pacific. The Roadrunners' top scorer, though, is redshirt freshman guard Damiyne Durham off the bench. He pours in 19.7 points per game, as his 4.6 threes per game rank third in the NCAA. Senior center Aly Ahmed adds to CSUB's frontcourt with 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. Redshirt sophomore guard Brent Wrapp, son of former Cowboy Mark Wrapp, runs the offense at 5.3 assists per game, while his plus 16.0 assist-turnover ratio ranks second in the nation this season. Junior guard Dedrick Basile and redshirt junior guard Jaylin Airington round out CSUB's probable starters at 9.0 and 8.0 points per game, respectively.
About the Series
The Cowboys own a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series with CSU Bakersfield, including 3-0 in Laramie. In the last meeting between the two, Wyoming earned a 61-53 win in Bakersfield on Feb. 6, 2013, as the Pokes played a home-and-home with the Roadrunners during the 2012-13 season. In that game, Larry Nance Jr. and Derek Cooke Jr. both notched double-doubles to help the Pokes lead wire-to-wire. Nance finished with 17 and 15, while Cooke contributed 12 and 13.
Wyoming plays its third game of the week on Saturday when the Cowboys host Montana State at 6 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.