Laramie, Wyo. (Feb. 4, 2013) – The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team wraps up non-conference play on Wednesday with a trip west to face CSU Bakersfield at 8 p.m. MT in Rabobank Arena. The Pokes (15-6, 2-6 MW) are looking to go undefeated in non-conference play during the regular season for the first time since 1987-88, but the Roadrunners (8-14) own a 6-3 record at home this season. The Cowboys won the previous meeting, 63-49, at home on Nov. 24.
Fans can follow live stats and live audio of Wyoming’s game through the men’s basketball Gameday Central page on the website. The contest will also be broadcast on the radio by the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
A 65-46 loss at Colorado State last Saturday dropped Wyoming to 15-6 overall and 2-6 in the MW for eighth in the conference standings. UW’s current four-game losing streak is its longest ever under third-year head coach Larry Shyatt. The Pokes trailed the Rams by as many as 15 midway through the second half, before cutting the deficit to eight with five minutes to play. That would be as close as the Cowboys could get, though, as the Rams held on for their 26th consecutive win in Moby Arena. UW has continued to make opponents play a slow, grinding game to its liking, but shots haven’t been falling for the Cowboys. Wyoming’s four lowest point totals of the season have all come in MW play. Defense continues to be a starting point for the Pokes. Wyoming enters the week ranked first in the league and eight in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing 55.3 points per game. UW’s opponents shoot 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. Offensively, the Cowboys score 62.2 points per game on 43 percent from the field and 32 percent beyond the arc. UW’s 6.9 threes per game are third in the MW, but the Pokes rank eighth in the MW in scoring offense. UW’s plus 2.6 turnover margin is second in the conference.
Head coach Rod Barnes and CSU Bakersfield currently sit 8-14 overall on the season, including 2-4 in their last six contests. The Roadrunners are 0-4 versus Mountain West teams this season, including a 63-49 loss at Wyoming on Nov. 24, but own a 6-3 record at home. Most recently, the Roadrunners earned a 75-62 home win over Utah Valley last Saturday. CSUB led by 11 at halftime, before the Wolverines fought to within five on several occasions in the second half. CSUB responded with key threes down the stretch to hang on for the win. The Roadrunners average 68.4 points on 40 percent from the field and 34 percent from deep, while allowing 69.6 points on 46 percent from the field and 36 percent beyond the arc to opponents. CSUB has a minus 2.3 rebounding margin, but plus 1.7 turnover margin.
Each Team’s Leaders
Senior Derrious Gilmore has paced the Pokes in each of the last three games, including a career-high 26 points at Colorado State last Saturday. He added 15 points each in the previous two games to average 12.0 points and 2.5 assists on the season. He ranks third in the MW beyond the arc at 39 percent and fourth in threes per game at 2.2. Senior forward Leonard Washington compliments him on the inside with team-highs of 14.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks to ranks in the top eight of the MW in each stat. Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. ranks eight in the league in rebounds with 7.1 and adds 10.2 points as well. UW’s probable starters are rounded out by sophomore guard Riley Grabau and freshman Josh Adams. Adams contributes 6.0 points and 1.5 assists to 5.8 points and 2.6 assists for Grabau. Sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr. added 11 rebounds at CSU.
Three Roadrunners average in double figures, led by senior guard Stephon Carter at 15.4 points per game. He also adds 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and ranks 31st in the nation with 2.2 steals. Redshirt junior guard Brandon Barnes contributes 11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds, while redshirt sophomore guard Javonte Maynor adds 10.7 points. Maynor ranks 27th in the NCAA in threes per game at 2.8 and 35th in three-point percentage at 40.5. Freshman guard Britton Williams made his fifth start of the season against Utah Valley and averages a team-high 3.4 assists to go with 3.7 points. Senior forward Adam Young posts 7.0 points and 4.7 rebounds with a team-high 11 blocks. Carter scored 23 against Utah Valley, while Maynor and Barnes added 10 points each.
About the Series
The Cowboys own a 3-0 lead in the all-time series with CSU Bakersfield, including a 63-49 home win earlier this season on Nov. 24. Wednesday will be UW’s first game at CSUB.
The Pokes start the second half of MW play at Boise State on Saturday at 6 p.m. MT.