Nov. 26, 2012
Laramie, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team takes its perfect 6-0 record on the road this week, as the Cowboys play UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT in the Thunderdome. The Pokes seek a 7-0 start to the season for the first time since 1969-70, while the Gauchos attempt to maintain an unblemished 2-0 home record in 2012-13. UW is coming off a 63-49 win over CSU Bakersfield last Saturday in the Arena-Auditorium. UCSB lost a 72-56 road game at Boise State in its latest action.
Fans can follow live stats, live audio and live video of Wyoming's game 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 Pokes have raced out to a 6-0 record to the 2012-13 season, their best start since beginning the 1987-88 campaign with the same mark. Four of those victories have come by double figures, including two by 20 points. In its latest action, Wyoming earned a 63-49 home win over CSU Bakersfield last Saturday. The Cowboys led by eight at halftime, before stretching the advantage to as much as 22 in the second half. Wyoming held CSUB to just 28 percent from the field, a season low for a UW opponent, and blocked eight Roadrunner shots. The Cowboys rank second in the Mountain West in scoring defense by allowing 53.7 points per game, third in blocked shots at 4.5 and fourth in field goal percentage defense at 36.8. Offensively, Wyoming is second in threes per game (7.6) and fourth in three-point percentage (33.6). The Cowboys have shot over 75 percent at the free throw line for fourth in the MW. UW's plus 3.8 turnover margin is second in the conference and its plus 1.1 assist-turnover margin is third.
Head coach Bob Williams is in his 15th season at the helm for the Gauchos, as he guided them to a 20-11 overall record and berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in 2011-12. UC Santa Barbara went 12-4 for second in the Big West last season and returns two starters and six letterwinners from that squad. UCSB has started its 2012-13 campaign with a 2-3 record, as both wins came by double digits at home and all three losses came by double digits on the road. UCSB's closest game this season was a 77-63 season-opening loss at LSU. Similar to Wyoming, the Gauchos have shot 43 percent from the field and 33 percent beyond the arc, but UCSB has allowed opponents to hit 44 percent from the field to 36 percent for the Pokes. UC Santa Barbara is averaging 65.6 points on the offensive end and allowing 69.6 points on the defensive end, to go with a minus 0.6 rebounding margin and minus 3.2 turnover margin. In their latest action, the Gauchos lost a 72-56 road game at Boise State last Saturday.
Each Team's Leaders
Wyoming's trio of seniors continue to lead the way this season, as forward Leonard Washington, guard Luke Martinez and guard Derrious Gilmore all average in double figures. Washington ranks eighth in the MW at 15.0 points, fifth in rebounds at 9.5 and second in blocks at 2.2, as he has scored in double figures in all six of UW's games. Martinez scores 12.7 points per game, thanks to a conference-high 3.0 threes per game and 41.9 percent beyond the arc. Gilmore contributes 12.2 points to go with a team-high 12 steals on the season for third in the MW. Two sophomores, Larry Nance Jr. and Riley Grabau, round out Wyoming's probable starters. Nance, a forward, is averaging 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, while Grabau, a guard, has 23 assists on the season and just three turnovers. He is fourth in the NCAA in assist-turnover ratio at 7.67. Washington posted 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks against the Roadrunners, while Martinez and Grabau both added 11 points.
A native of Gillette, Wyo., Taran Brown has been a standout for the Gauchos in 2012-13, after redshirting his first season in the program. The freshman guard is averaging a team-high 15.0 points and 3.4 assists to go with 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Senior guard Nate Garth is also contributing 3.4 assists, as well as 5.6 points and 2.0 rebounds. Sophomore forward Alan Williams is UCSB's other scorer in double figures at 14.6 points, as he snags a team-high 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. Junior guard Kyle Boswell adds 8.0 points and 2.0 rebounds, while sophomore guard/forward Lewis Thomas rounds out UCSB's probable starters at 3.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Brown had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals in UC Santa Barbara's loss to Boise State. Williams scored 15 and added two assists and two blocks.
About the Series
The all-time series between the Pokes and Gauchos is tied 2-2, as the home team has won each contest. Wyoming is 0-2 in Santa Barbara and UCSB is 0-2 in Laramie. In the most recent meeting, the Cowboys won a 57-49 home game on Dec. 19, 1975.
Wyoming faces its first ranked opponent of the season on Saturday, when the Cowboys welcome No. 19 Colorado to the Arena-Auditorium at 8 p.m.