Pokes Tussle With UC Irvine on Tuesday Night
Dec. 12, 2011
Laramie, Wyo. -
Fresh off its first road win since 2009, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team is right back to work with a Tuesday showdown against UC Irvine at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys own a Mountain West-best 9-1 record, including 8-0 at home, but face a young Anteater (2-6) squad that has hung tough in several losses this season and defeated Wyoming soundly last year in California.
Tickets to all UW games can be purchased by calling the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or going online at WyomingAthletics.com. Fans can also follow live stats and live audio of Wyoming's games, as well as live video of the postgame press conference, through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on the website. The contest will be broadcast on the radio through the Cowboy Sports Network and televised on The Mtn.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming's success this season has been in large part due to a stingy defense. The Pokes currently lead the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense at 22.5, while also ranking third in scoring defense at 49.9 points per game and 10th in field goal percentage defense at 35.7. All three marks lead the Mountain West. Wyoming held CU to a season-low 54 points and has not allowed a team to score more than 60 points this season.
UC Irvine is off to a 2-6 start to its second season under head coach Russell Turner. The Anteaters return just two starters and four lettermen from a team that went 13-19 overall and 6-10 in the Big West last season. With seven freshmen and no seniors on the roster, UCI is one of just nine Division I programs without a senior this season.
The Anteaters were winless in six contests in November, but played several respectable programs close and had just one game at home. UCI has rebounded to win its last two contests, a 99-79 victory over San Diego and a 75-73 win against Vanguard last Saturday, with both games at home. UCI shot 35.4 percent from field through its first six games, but has connected on 53.5 in its last two contests. The Anteaters are averaging 40.0 rebounds per game, but still have a minus -0.2 rebounding margin and a minus 1.9 turnover margin.
Each Team's Leaders
Junior guard Daman Starring is one of two Anteaters in double figures. He averages 13.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game to go with a team-high nine steals, while junior forward Michael Wilder contributes 11.3 points thanks to a team-high 21 treys. Sophomore guard Chris McNealy adds 9.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game to go with 3.0 assists. Freshman guard Aaron Wright has a team-high 3.1 assists per game, while scoring 7.5 points. Redshirt junior center Adam Folker rounds out UCI's probable starters at 4.8 points and 4.4 rebounds. Freshman forward Will Davis II has been a big boost off UCI's bench with 9.6 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game. Davis had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds versus Vanguard, while Wilder and Starring both added 16 points.
About the Series