Cowboys and Panthers Play on Dec. 27 for the Second Consecutive Year

Dec. 26, 2006

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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One year ago, on Dec. 27, 2005, the Wyoming Cowboys and Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers met for the first time in the two schools' histories. That game took place in Laramie, Wyo., and the Panthers came away with an 84-69 win over the Cowboys.

Now one year later to the day, on Dec. 27, 2006, Wyoming will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to take on UWM in a game set to tip off at 6:00 p.m., Mountain Time (7:00 p.m., Central Time).

The circumstances are somewhat different this year than they were a year ago. Wyoming has built a 9-4 (.692) record this season, whereas a year ago the Pokes were 6-4 (.600) entering the game versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Last year, UWM arrived in Laramie with a 6-3 (.667) mark, but the Panthers would go on to post a 22-9 (.710) record, win their fourth consecutive Horizon League title and earn their third NCAA Tournament bid in four seasons. Milwaukee defeated Oklahoma, 82-74, in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament, before falling in the second round to eventual National Champion Florida, 60-82. That Panther squad was a senior-dominated team. In fact all five starters a year ago were seniors, and UWM returns only five of 14 lettermen from last year's team.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee will come into this season's meeting versus Wyoming with a 2-11 record, and is starting three players who weren't even on the Panther roster a year ago. Those three newcomers are freshman guard Charlie Swiggett; junior forward Paige Paulsen, a transfer from Northern Illinois; and junior center Sam Mauldin, a junior-college transfer from Shelton State Community College.