Dec. 28, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
On Monday night, the Cowboy basketball team will open the 2008 Utah State Duel in the Desert against Houston Baptist at 5:30 p.m. in Logan, Utah. In the tournament, the Cowboys will also play Howard on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and Utah State on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Cowboys enter the tournament with a 9-2 overall record. After going 9-1 through their first 10 games of the season, the Cowboys fell on the road to #10/#13 UCLA last Tuesday. That 9-1 start was the best for the Cowboys since the 1990-91 season.
This season, four Cowboys are scoring in double-figures on average. Redshirt freshman Afam Muojeke is leading the way with an average of 17.7 points per game. He is followed by senior Brandon Ewing (16.8 ppg), redshirt senior Sean Ogirri (15.5 ppg) and senior Tyson Johnson (14.7 ppg).
Johnson is currently leading the Mountain West Conference in rebounding with 8.7 per game. Ewing is leading the league in assists with 6.1 per game and Ogirri leads the league in three-pointers per game with 3.8. Muojeke is tied for second in the MWC in scoring.
Monday's meeting with Houston Baptist will be the first meeting between the two schools. The Huskies, who are their 18th season under the direction of head coach Ron Cottrell, are currently 0-12.
Tuesday's game with Howard will be the second meeting between the two schools. The first meeting was a memorable one for the Cowboys as they beat Howard 78-43 in the opening round of the 1981 NCAA Tournament. This season, Howard is 1-8 overall and 0-1 in the Mid-Eastern Conference. They are coached by Gil Jackson, who is in his fourth season with the Bison.
Wednesday's game against Utah State will renew a long standing rivalry. In fact, the two teams have met 66 previous times with the Cowboys leading the series 45-21. However, the two schools have not met on the hardwood since the 1997-98 season. The Pokes won that game 67-61 on Dec. 3, 1997 in Laramie. The Aggies are coached by Stew Merrill, who is in his 23rd year.
Following the Duel in the Desert, the Cowboys will remain on the road to open MWC play. They will play at Utah on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 2 p.m.