Cowboys and Rangers Square Off on Sunday in Arena-Auditorium

Dec. 6, 2014

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The University of Wyoming men's basketball team looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season when the Cowboys host Regis on Sunday at 2 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes (7-1) had a season-opening, seven-game winning streak snapped on Friday at SMU, while the Rangers (2-2) play at fellow NCAA Division II member Metro State on Saturday night.

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
Wyoming traveled to SMU on Friday for its first road game of the season and dropped a 66-53 contest to the Mustangs to snap a seven-game winning streak the Pokes started 2014-15 with. The Cowboys were up by six midway through the second half and had momentum after a dunk, but that would be the last field goal Wyoming would hit for nearly eight minutes. SMU used the cold streak to start an 18-1 spurt as the Cowboys hung tough, but the Mustangs converted free throws to extend the lead to 58-45 with 1:44 left. A UW three to cut the deficit to single digits, but the Cowboys could get no closer. Wyoming shot a season-low 40 percent (20-of-50) from the field, the first time hitting below 50 percent in 2014-15, and just 29 percent (8-of-27) from beyond the arc, while allowing SMU 56 percent (23-of-41) and 37 percent (3-of-8), respectively. The Mustangs outrebounded the Cowboys 35-16, but committed four more turnovers. The Pokes collected a season-high 10 steals. On the season, Wyoming averages 67.4 points per game on 55 percent from the field and 37 percent beyond the arc. The Cowboys rank first in the MW and second nationally in field goal percentage, while their 18.1 assists per game also lead the conference and are 12th in the nation. Defensively, the Pokes allow 50.3 points per game on 39 and 35 percent, respectively. UW's scoring defense is fifth in the NCAA, while its 14 fouls per game are eighth.

Longtime head coach Lonnie Porter and Regis posted a 7-20 overall record and 4-18 in the RMAC last season, but the Rangers are off to a 2-2 start to this season. Regis snagged double-digit home wins over Johnson & Wales and Colorado College during the last week of November and then was off until playing at Metro State on Saturday night.

Each Team's Leaders
Senior forward Derek Cooke Jr. and senior guard Riley Grabau notched 15 points apiece at SMU, as the point total was a career high for Cooke and a season high for Grabau. Cooke slammed home six dunks versus the Mustangs and is shooting 83 percent on the season to average 8.0 points and 3.8 rebounds. Grabau tied a career high with five threes and contributes 8.1 points and 2.3 assists per contest, while leading the MW at the free throw line with 94 percent on the season. Junior guard Josh Adams tallied six assists at SMU and averages a team-high 4.5 per contest to go with 10.1 points. His 3.0 assist-turnover ratio is second in the MW and 57th in the nation. Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. paces the Pokes in points at 13.5, rebounds with 5.6 and blocks at 1.1. Senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. rounds out UW's probable starters at 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while hitting 48 percent from deep this year.

Regis is led by senior forward Brett Hartshorne's 16.8 points per game, as he adds 5.8 rebounds and is shooting 66 percent from the field. Junior guard Dylan King contributes 11.3 points and 4.3 rebounds thanks to a team-high seven threes. Freshman forward Dexter Sienko adds 10.8 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game, while freshman guard Roberto Reyes rounds out the Rangers in double figures at 10.0 points per game.

About the Series
Wyoming owns a 7-2 lead in the all-time series with Regis, including 5-1 in Laramie. Sunday is the first non-exhibition meeting between the two programs since Nov, 30, 1982. The Cowboys won that game 80-41 at home. The prior meeting, on Dec. 5, 1970, was an 81-79 home loss for the Pokes.

Up Next
The Pokes return to the road at California on Wednesday at 9 p.m. MT.