LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team continues a busy stretch of four games in eight days by hosting Stetson on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys (4-0) continue to click on all cylinders at the offensive and defensive ends of the floor and now face the Hatters (2-3), their second-straight opponent from the state of Florida.
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 also be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
Head coach Larry Shyatt has Wyoming off to a hot start to 2014-15 at 4-0, as the Pokes are receiving votes in both national polls. Most recently, the Cowboys downed Florida A&M, 66-45, on Monday night in the Double A. Wyoming led by double digits just over five minutes into the game and held a 20-point advantage for all but 16 seconds of the second half. All 11 Pokes that played scored and all but one notched an assist. The Cowboys assisted on 21 of 25 baskets, their fourth-straight game with more than 20 assists, and shot 53 percent (25-of-47) from the field for their fourth-straight game above 50 percent. The Wyoming defense held its third-straight foe below 50 points for the first time since January 2013. FAMU managed just 15 points in the first half and shot 36 percent (18-of-49) from the field for the game. The Cowboys also outrebounded the Rattlers, 36-22, the highest rebounding margin since December 2011. Offensively, Wyoming averages 65.2 points per game on 55 percent from the field and 38 percent beyond the arc. The Cowboys ranked first in the MW and 11th nationally in field goal percentage, while their 21.3 assists per game also lead the conference and are eighth in the nation. Defensively, the Pokes allow 48.5 points per game on 37 and 34 percent, respectively. UW's scoring defense is 14th in the NCAA, while its 11.0 fouls per game are fourth.
Head coach Corey Williams is in his second season at Stetson, after guiding the Hatters to a 7-24 overall mark and 5-13 in the Atlantic Sun Conference last season. Stetson is 2-3 so far in 2014-15, including an 88-68 loss at New Mexico State on Monday in its most recent action. The Hatters held their own in the early going against a senior-laden NMSU squad which has played in four of the last five NCAA tournaments, including each of the last three years. Stetson led 13-11 in the first five minutes, but the Aggies followed with a 16-2 run to take control of the game. The Hatters couldn't get the deficit under 10 points after that and couldn't get any closer than 14 points in the second half. Stetson shot 53 percent (26-of-49) from the field and limited the Aggies to 40 percent (35-of-87) shooting, but NMSU owned a 62-20 advantage on the glass, including 38-3 in offensive boards. On the season, Stetson averages 69.2 points on 45 percent from the field and 33 percent beyond the arc, while allowing 70.2 points on 38 and 30 percent, respectively. The Hatters post 14.8 assists per game, but give up 16.2 turnovers.
Each Team's Leaders
Wyoming's bench was the star on Monday, as it produced a season-high 41 points, including a game-high 16 from senior forward Matt Sellers. Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. paces UW's four returning starters and is the MW's Preseason Player of the Year for good reason. He leads the Cowboys at 12.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, while shooting 60 percent from the field. Fellow senior forward Derek Cooke Jr. is a threat around the rim as well. He averages 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting 89 percent this season. He has missed just two field goal attempts and has 11 dunks on 16 baskets. Senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. paces the Cowboys at 4.8 assists per game, but also contributes 9.0 points on a team-high eight three pointers. Junior guard Josh Adams is right behind him at 4.8 assists to go with 8.8 points, while senior guard Riley Grabau contributes 6.3 points and 2.3 assists. Adams routinely is tasked with defending the opponent's best guard, while Grabau led the nation in three-point percentage at several points last season.
Redshirt sophomore guard Brian Pegg paces Stetson at 14.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, as he is shooting 73 percent from the field on the season. He notched 14 points and two steals against New Mexico State. Freshman guard Divine Myles is also in double figures at 12.6 points and 4.4 rebounds, including a game-high 20 points against the Aggies. He became the first Stetson freshman to crack the 20-point scoring mark since February 2011. Fellow freshman guard Angel Rivera leads the Hatters at 4.4 assists per game to go with 6.8 points, while senior forward Kentwan Smith is one of SU's two returning starters and averages 6.6 points and 6.0 rebounds. Senior center Kyle Sikora, who stands seven feet tall, rounds out Stetson's probable starters at 3.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.
About the Series
Wednesday will be the first meeting between Wyoming and Stetson. Monday's 66-45 win over the Rattlers represented Shyatt's first meeting with a Florida team as head coach of the Cowboys.
The Pokes host perennial NCAA tournament contender New Mexico State on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.