Dec. 10, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
It began back in 1982, and this Saturday afternoon the Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will play in Casper, Wyo. for the 28th consecutive season. The Pokes will host Northern Colorado in the 2009 BlueCross BlueShield of Wyoming Shootout at 3:30 p.m. in the Casper Events Center.
Over the past 28 seasons, the Cowboys have enjoyed great success in Casper and have posted a 34-10 (.773) record.
Since 1999, the Shootout has featured both the Cowboys and Cowgirls playing a doubleheader. In that time, the Cowboys are 7-3 (.700) and the Cowgirls are 8-2 (.800). This year, the Cowgirls will host Dakota State at 1 p.m. prior to the Cowboys' game with UNC.
The Cowboys enter the Shootout with a 4-4 overall record and are currently riding a two-game winning streak. In their last two games, the Pokes have defeated Pepperdine (86-82 in overtime) and Loyola Marymount (76-70).
Defensive pressure has been a emphasis this season for the Cowboys and they are currently ranked No. 7 in the nation in steals. With an average of 11.3 steals per game, the Pokes also lead the Mountain West Conference.
Over the past two weeks the Cowboys have been without their leading scorer Afam Muojeke, who has been sidelined with a knee injury. However, he is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday. Muojeke is currently averaging 17.0 points per game.
Three other Cowboys are scoring in double-figures including A.J. Davis (13.1 ppg), Djibril Thiam (12.4 ppg) and Adam Waddell (12.0 ppg). Davis is leading the MWC and is tied for 20th in the nation with 2.8 steals per game.
Northern Colorado enters Saturday's game with an 8-1 overall record and a 1-1 Big Sky Conference record. They are currently ranked No.22 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll. Their most impressive wins have come at Hawaii (81-75), at Air Force (70-46) and against Colorado State (70-63).
The Bears are led by guard Will Figures, who is averaging 17.0 points a game. Guard Devon Beitzel is also averaging double-figures with 11.9 points per game. UNC's leading rebounder is forward Mike Proctor who is averaging 6.4 rebounds per game.
Following Saturday's game with Northern Colorado, the Cowboys will travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to take on the No. 9 ranked Tennessee Volunteers next Tuesday night. The game will begin at 5 p.m. (Mountain Time) and will be televised by ESPN U.