Dec. 3, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After a much needed week-long rest, the University of Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will return to action this Saturday to host Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.
Wyoming has not played a game since last Sunday when they beat Pepperdine 86-82 in overtime. That game with Pepperdine was the fourth in five days for the Cowboys, which marked the first time the Pokes had played that many games in such a short period since the 1955-56 season. The five-day rest that the Pokes have enjoyed is their longest of the season.
The Cowboys will enter this Saturday's game with a 3-4 overall record. After dropping three straight games to begin that four-game stretch, the Cowboys rebounded to beat Pepperdine, who won the World Vision Challenge, in the tournament finale.
Wyoming may be without their leading scorer on Saturday, as sophomore Afam Muojeke continues to battle a knee injury. Muojeke has missed two of UW's last three games after injuring the knee against Denver. He is doubtful for Saturday's game with LMU.
Behind Muojeke's 17.0 points a game, three other Cowboys are averaging double-figures. Sophomore A.J. Davis is averaging 13.7 points a game, junior Djibril Thiam is averaging 12.6 per game and sophomore Adam Waddell is averaging 12.0.
Redshirt sophomore JayDee Luster leads the team in assists with 4.6 per game and Waddell is the Pokes' leading rebounder with 5.7 per game. Davis is leading the Mountain West Conference with 2.71 steals a game.
Loyola Marymount, of the West Coast Conference, enters Saturday's game with a 3-5 overall record. They share one common opponent with the Cowboys in Boise State. The Pokes beat Boise State 87-61, while Loyola Marymount fell to the Broncos on a neutral floor by a score of 90-87. LMU's biggest win of the season came at USC, as the Lions beat the Trojans 67-59.
LMU's roster features three players who are scoring in double-figures including forward Drew Viney (18.6 ppg), guard Larry Davis (13.2 ppg) and point guard Vernon Teel (12.4 ppg). Teel is tied for 16th in the nation with 6.4 assists per game.
Saturday's game will mark the seventh meeting between the Wyoming Cowboys and the Loyola Marymount Lions. Wyoming leads the all-time series 5-1 and in games played in Laramie, the Cowboys are 2-0. Of those six meetings, two have come in the postseason and one came in the third round of the storied Great Alaska Shootout.
The biggest of those meetings came in the First Round of the 1988 NCAA Tournament. A senior-laden Cowboy team, led by Fennis Dembo and Eric Leckner, took on a high-powered LMU team, which was led by Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble. LMU held on for their only win in the series, 119-115.
Just two seasons prior to that NCAA meeting, the Cowboys and Lions met in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament and the Cowboys came away with a 99-90 home win.
Last season, the Cowboys traveled to Los Angeles and beat Loyola Marymount by a score of 62-55. LMU returns three starters and six letterwinners from that team
Following Saturday's game with LMU, the Pokes will take next week off for final examinations. They will return to action on Sat., Dec. 12 as they travel to Casper, Wyo. for the 2009 BlueCross BlueShield of Wyoming Shootout. The Pokes will play Northern Colorado in a game that will tip-off at 3:30 p.m. from the Casper Events Center.