Dec. 6, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
For the second time this season, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team squares off with South Dakota, as the Cowboys and Coyotes meet on Saturday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, S.D. The Pokes (6-2) claimed a 70-53 win over USD in Laramie on Nov. 22, but the Coyotes (3-4) have won three of their last four contests. Tip is set for 7:15 p.m. MT.
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 and televised by Midco Sports Network. Contact your local cable or satellite provider for further channel information.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming continues to play solid basketball under head coach Larry Shyatt in last months of the calendar year. The Cowboys are off to a 6-2 start to 2013-14 and own a 39-6 overall record under Shyatt in the months of November and December. UW's two losses on the season have both come on the road, at Colorado and No. 7/6 Ohio State. Last time out, the Cowboys earned a 79-65 win over Black Hills State last Monday. After trailing the whole first half, BHSU clawed back into the game with an 8-0 run to start the second half and took a 37-36 lead. The Pokes quickly went back in front with a three, but couldn't shake the Yellow Jackets the majority of the second half. With seven minutes left, though, UW hit its next four baskets, including a thunderous dunk to put the Pokes in front 79-52 with four minutes to go. BHSU responded with a three, but would hit just one more field goal the rest of the game, as the UW defense shored itself up. Wyoming hit a season-high 31 field goals en route to 61 percent (31-of-51) from the field and 40 percent (6-of-15) from three, while holding the Yellow Jackets to 38 percent (24-of-63) and 27 percent (7-of-26), respectively. BHSU's 63 field-goal attempts and 26 three-point attempts were both season highs for a UW opponent. Wyoming earned a 36-27 lead on the boards, 17-10 in assists and 10-0 in fast-break points. The Pokes earned a season-high 38 points in the paint. The Cowboys are averaging 71.5 points per game this season on 51 percent from the field and 42 percent beyond the arc, while holding opponents to 61.1 points on 38 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
Interim head coach Joey James and South Dakota are 3-4 on the season. Wyoming handed the Coyotes a 70-53 loss in Laramie on Nov. 22, but USD responded to win its next three games. Most recently, South Dakota lost a 94-86 contest at Air Force last Thursday night. USD led 40-32 at the break, but committed 21 fouls in the second half and watched the Falcons make 26 of 33 free throws during the final 20 minutes of the game. USD had seven fouls in the first half, but were whistled for that many in the first five minutes of the second. All five USD starters had at least four fouls. Both teams finished with 11 three-pointers. Two free throws by USD tied the game at 78-78 with 3:22 to go. The Falcons hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions to give Air Force an 87-80 lead with 1:32 remaining. The Falcons made 7 of 8 from the line from there to seal the win. Offensively, the Coyotes average 70 points on 43 percent from the field and 32 percent beyond the arc, while adding 35 rebounds and 14 assists per game. South Dakota on the defensive end allows opponents to shoot 42 percent and 39 percent, respectively, while allowing 63 points. The Coyotes were picked to finish seventh in the Summit League.
Each Team's Leaders
Junior guard Riley Grabau entered the week leading the NCAA in three-point percentage at 67.7 percent beyond the arc. He hit 3-of-6 from deep against Black Hills State to lower his average, but is still hitting 64.9 percent (24-of-37). He notched 11 points against the Yellow Jackets and averages a team-high 14.5 on the season. Junior forward Larry Nance Jr. and sophomore guard Josh Adams both contribute 11.9 points per game and were two of UW's five double-digit scorers against BHSU with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Nance paces the team in rebounds at 9.0 and Adams leads UW in assists at 2.8. Senior guard Nathan Sobey scored 12 points versus BHSU to reach double figures for the second-straight game and averages 8.1 on the season, while junior forward Derek Cooke Jr. added 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks against the Yellow Jackets. Cooke's 7.4 rebounds per game are second on the team.
A preseason All-Summit League selection, junior center Trevor Gruis averages 11.1 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game on 56 percent from the field. He had 14 points and five rebounds against Air Force. Junior guard Brandon Bos scores a team-high 13.9 points per game and adds 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists, as he posted 13 points and six assists against the Falcons. Sophomore guard Trey Norris runs the point for the Coyotes at 5.6 assists per game and adds 7.3 points. He added 15 points and five assists against Air Force. Sophomore forward Tyler Flack and sophomore guard Adam Thoseby round out USD's probable starters at 5.7 and 6.7 points per game, respectively.
About the Series
Wyoming and South Dakota will meet for the 10th time on the hardwood on Saturday. The Pokes own a 7-2 advantage in the all-time series with wins in six of the last seven meetings. Saturday will be the first meeting between the two on a neutral court.
The Pokes continue play on the road at Denver on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. MT.