Dec. 8, 2011
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team takes its six-game winning streak on the road this week with a 7 p.m. showdown against Colorado on Friday in the Coors Events Center. The Cowboys (8-1) are off to their best start since 2008-09 behind one of the best defenses in the nation, but hit the road for just the second time in their first 10 games. The Buffaloes (5-3) have played their last seven games all within nine points and are 3-0 at home this season.
Fans can follow live stats and live audio of the game through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on WyomingAthletics.com. The contest will be broadcast on the radio through the Cowboy Sports Network and will be televised by ROOT Sports.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming enters Friday riding a six-game winning streak, its longest since the 2002-03 season. The Cowboys' eight wins have all come in Laramie, though, while their lone loss on the season came at Green Bay, 52-44, on Nov. 19. In its most recent action, UW earned a 66-49 win over Bradley on Dec. 3 in the Arena-Auditorium.
The Cowboys have crafted one of the top defenses in the nation this season. Wyoming currently ranks third in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing 49.4 points per game, and has held all nine opponents under 60 points. UW's defense ranks fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense at 22.2 and 12th in field goal percentage defense at 35.4. All three marks lead the Mountain West. In their last outing, Wyoming held Bradley to 0-of-14 from three and a season-low three assists for a Cowboy opponent.
Head coach Tad Boyle is in his second season at the helm for Colorado after a great campaign in 2010-11. He guided the Buffaloes to a 24-14 overall record and 8-8 mark in the Big 12 Conference while advancing to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. He returns six letterwinners and two starters from that squad, as CU enters its first season in the Pac-12 Conference.
Boyle and the Buffs have started the 2011-12 season with a 5-3 mark, including 3-0 at home, to enter Friday with 27-straight non-conference wins in Boulder. CU has been in some tight contests, as seven of its eight games have been played to within nine points. In their most recent action, the Buffs defeated Fresno State, 71-64, at home on Wednesday night. An athletic squad on both ends of the floor, Colorado is shooting 40.0 percent from distance and collecting 38.5 rebounds per game. The Buffs have a minus 2.5 turnover margin and are earning just 4.6 steals per contest, though.
Each Team's Leaders
A total of four Cowboys are scoring in double figures, paced by senior guard Francisco Cruz at 13.0 per game to go with 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Redshirt junior guard Luke Martinez has hit a team-high 23 threes to average 12.9 points and 3.5 rebounds, while redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington contributes 11.3 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game. Washington is also leading the Mountain West at 1.2 blocks per contest. Fellow big man Adam Waddell averages 10.1 points and 2.8 rebounds from his center position. Senior guard JayDee Luster continues to lead the nation in assist-turnover ratio at 7.4 thanks to 37 assists and five turnovers on the season. He is averaging 4.1 assists per game. Martinez scored 20 points against Bradley, while Waddell added 15 and Washington had 13.
Sophomore guard Andre Roberson is averaging a double-double at 11.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game to go with a team-high eight blocks. Senior guard Carlon Brown paces CU at 12.8 points and 2.3 assists per game, while senior forward Austin Dufault is also in double figures at 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Nate Tomlinson is CU's top assist man at 3.5 per game to go with a team-high 14 treys, while freshman guard Spencer Dinwiddie rounds out the probable starters at 8.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Roberson scored 21 points and collected 10 rebounds versus Fresno State, Dinwiddie contributed 15 points and Dufault had 13.
About the Series
Friday's meeting will be the 76th all-time between the Cowboys and Buffaloes. Wyoming owns a 40-35 advantage in the series, but is 15-24 all-time in Boulder. The Cowboys are 8-2 in their last 10 meetings with CU, including four-straight wins. UW's last win in Boulder was a 76-73 contest on Nov. 26, 2006.
The Cowboys return home to face UC Irvine on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.