UW Men End 2011 at Idaho State on Thursday
Dec. 21, 2011
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team will look to start a new winning streak when the Cowboys play at Idaho State on Thursday in Pocatello, Idaho. Tip is set for 7:05 p.m. in Holt Arena. The Pokes (11-2) had their nine-game winning streak broken on Monday in Denver, and now seek to even their 2011-12 road record at 2-2 against the Bengals (2-8). Thursday's game will be UW's last of the 2011 calendar year, as the Cowboys will get an 11-day layoff for the holidays.
Fans can follow live stats, live audio and live video of the game through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on WyomingAthletics.com. The contest will be broadcast on the radio through the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming's defense continues to sit near the top of the NCAA rankings. UW entered the week ranked third in the NCAA in scoring defense at 50.6 points per game, fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense at 26.3 and 10th in field goal percentage defense at 36.4. All three marks led the Mountain West at the time. The Cowboys have crafted a plus 4.5 turnover margin this season, but are minus 0.7 on the boards.
Idaho State will look for a fresh start on Thursday, after head coach Joe O'Brien stepped down on Monday. Assistant coach Deane Martin will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The Bengals are 2-8 so far in 2011-12, after returning two starters from a team that went 9-20 overall last season and 4-12 in the Big Sky Conference. ISU is currently on a three-game losing streak, but all three came away from Pocatello. The Bengals are 2-2 at home this season, including a 76-63 win over North Dakota in their last home contest. Most recently, Idaho State lost a 71-59 decision at Utah last Friday.
Each Team's Leaders
The Bengals are paced by junior guard Melvin Morgan at 12.8 points per game, thanks to a team-high 23 threes, while also adding 2.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Senior guard Chase Grabau, the older brother of UW freshman Riley Grabau, is second on the team at 10.7 points to go with 5.4 rebounds and a team-high 3.8 assists. He also leads ISU in steals at 2.3 per game, and his 3.1 assist-turnover ratio ranked 21st in the nation entering the week. Fellow senior guard Kenny McGowen contributes 9.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest and is the best free-throw shooter on the team at 83 percent (25-of-30). Senior forward Abner Moreira is pulling down a team-high 7.5 rebounds, which ranks fifth in the Big Sky, to go with 6.1 points. Redshirt junior center Jakub Kusmieruk rounds out ISU's probable starters at 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
About the Series