Dec. 30, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After spending the holidays at home with a five-game homestand, the Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will take to the road this Friday for its final non-conference game of the 2010-11 season. The Pokes will play a New Year's Eve afternoon game at Houston Baptist at 1 p.m. (Mountain Time) in HBU's Sharp Gym.
A Look at the Matchup with Houston Baptist:
By posting a 4-1 record during a five-game homestand, the Cowboys improved their overall record to 7-7. They have posted a record of 7-2 at home this season, but are still searching for their first road win of the season.
Desmar Jackson has been nothing short of spectacular for the Cowboys this season. The sophomore has scored 20 or more points in three straight games and has scored in double figures in 11 consecutive games. He is currently the sixth best scorer in the Mountain West Conference with a 15.5 points per game average. He also ranks second in the league in steals with 2.62 a game.
Senior Djibril Thiam has been the Pokes' top post player this season and is one of only five players in the MWC to rank in the top 15 of both scoring and rebounding. His 5.9 rebounds a game are the sixth most in the league and his 12.4 points per game rank No. 13 in the conference. He also brings a long streak of scoring in double figures into Friday's game, as he has now scored 10 or more points in nine straight games.
Houston Baptist will enter Friday's game with an overall record of 1-10. They lost their first six games of the season before knocking off Texas State in a home game on Dec. 4. Since that win, the Huskies have lost four straight games. They are coming off of a long break, as they have not played since a road game at Missouri-Kansas City on Dec. 21.
The Huskies are led by forward Andrew Gonzales, who is averaging 20.1 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Forward Terry Bembry is the team's leading rebounder with 7.0 a game.
Houston Baptist is coached by Ron Cottrell, who is in his 20th season with the Huskies. He has led HBU to a record of 392-239 (.621) during his tenure.
HBU returns seven letterwinners and three starters from a 12-21 team in 2009-10. The Huskies finished second in the Great West Conference with a league mark of 9-3.
About the Series with Houston Baptist:
This will mark the second meeting between Wyoming and Houston Baptist. Nearly two year's ago to the date, the two teams faced one another on a neutral floor in Logan, Utah. The Cowboys beat the Huskies by a final score of 84-74 on Dec. 29, 2008.
Francisco Cruz is One of the Best Three-Point Shooters in the MWC:
Through his first few games in the league, junior Francisco Cruz has established himself as one of the best three-point shooters in the MWC. He currently ranks No. 3 in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.451) and No. 10 in three-pointers made (23). On the year, he has made 23 of his 52 attempted threes.
Following Trip to Houston, Cowboys Open MWC Play at Colorado State:
Following Friday's game at Houston Baptist, the Cowboys will open MWC play on the road at arch-rival Colorado State. The Pokes and Rams will play on Tues., Jan. 4 in Fort Collins in CSU's Moby Arena. That game will be televised by The Mtn.