Dec. 14, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will make its longest trip of the season this Tuesday night, as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to take on the No. 8/9 ranked Tennessee Volunteers. The game, which will be televised by ESPN U, will begin at 5 p.m. (Mountain Time) from UT's Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Cowboys enter Tuesday's game on their first three-game winning streak of the season. Over their past three games, they have posted wins over Pepperdine (86-82 in overtime), Loyola Marymount (76-70) and Northern Colorado (76-70). The Pokes are currently 5-4 overall.
Tennessee, who is currently ranked No. 8 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 9 in the AP Poll, will enter Tuesday's game with a 7-1 overall record. The Vols have also won three straight games after losing to Purdue (73-72) in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Championship Game. Those wins have come over College of Charleston (86-69), East Tennessee State (78-66) and Middle Tennessee (75-54).
Tuesday's game will be televised live by ESPN U and will be called by Carter Blackburn and Mark Gottfried. ESPN U is available on both DIRECTV (channel 609) and Dish Network (channel 148). Cable subscribers should check with their local providers for ESPN U availability.
This will mark just the third meeting between Wyoming and Tennessee on the basketball floor. Strangely enough, both of those previous meetings came during the 1958-59 season. The Cowboys opened that season with a tough 72-71 loss at Tennessee on Dec. 2, 1958. The two teams then faced off four days later in the Midwestern Invitational in Kent, Ohio. The Vols won that meeting 90-69.
The Cowboys have not played a team from the Southeastern Conference since defeating South Carolina 77-63 on Dec. 19, 2002 in Laramie, Wyo.
The Cowboy lineup features four players who are scoring in double-figures. Afam Muojeke, who returned to the lineup this past weekend after missing three games with a knee injury, is leading the way with 16.7 points per game. He is followed by A.J. Davis (12.1 ppg), Adam Waddell (12.1 ppg) and Djibril Thiam (11.6 ppg). Waddell has scored in double-figures in five consecutive games and is also the Pokes' leading rebounder with 5.8 per game.
Tennessee's lineup also features four players who are averaging double-figures. Sophomore guard Scotty Hopson leads the team with 13.9 points per game and is followed by senior wing Tyler Smith (12.5 ppg), senior center Wayne Chism (11.5 ppg) and sophomore guard Cameron Tatum (10.3 ppg).
Both Tennessee and Wyoming feature explosive scoring offenses, as the Vols are averaging 85.0 points a game and the Cowboys 80.3. Tennessee ranks eighth in the nation in scoring and Wyoming ranks 31st.
The Cowboys also currently lead the nation in made free throws (234) and rank third in attempted free throws (316). Through the 2008-09 regular season, UW led the nation in made free throws and ranked second in attempts.
After returning from Tennessee, the Cowboys will host South Dakota this Sunday, Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. The game will follow the Cowgirl basketball team's home game with Oregon, which is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.