Laramie, Wyo. (Feb. 14, 2013) – The University of Wyoming men’s basketball seeks its first back-to-back wins of the Mountain West season on Saturday when the Pokes (17-7, 3-7 MW) host Fresno State (8-15, 2-8 MW) at 2 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. The Bulldogs earned a 49-36 win at Fresno in the previous meeting this season, as the Cowboys posted their lowest point total of the shot-clock era. Saturday promises to be another defensive battle with the Pokes leading the MW in scoring defense and the Bulldogs ranked fifth. The game also features Wyoming’s annual Cowboys vs. Cancer fundraiser. Contact the Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) for more information.
Tickets can be purchased through the ticket office or online at GoWYO.com. Fans can follow live stats and live video 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
Wyoming broke a five-game losing streak in MW play with a dominant 68-48 win over Nevada last Wednesday in the Double A. UW’s largest margin of victory in conference play since 2002 moved the Pokes to 17-7 overall and 3-7 in the MW for seventh in the league standings. Wyoming led by 10 at halftime and stretched the lead to 18 early in the second, but the Wolf Pack clawed to within 11 with 9:45 to go. UW responded with a 14-0 run to push the lead to 23, its largest of the game, and never looked back. The Cowboy defense locked down Nevada to just 19 points in the first half for the third time this season UW has held an opponent below 20 in the opening half. The Pokes rank first in the MW and 10th in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing just 55.5 points per game. UW has allowed MW opponents to shoot just 28 percent beyond the arc, second in the league. The Wyoming offense scored 68 points against Nevada, its highest total during MW play this season, as UW ranks eighth in the league in scoring at 62.4 points. Wyoming’s four lowest point totals of the season have come in MW play. Its plus 2.3 turnover margin is second in the MW.
Head coach Rodney Terry and Fresno State visit Laramie at 8-15 overall and 2-8 in MW play for ninth in the league standings. The Bulldogs are 3-8 on the road this season, including 0-4 in conference play. In its most recent action, FSU dropped a 54-48 home game to No. 19/18 New Mexico last Wednesday. The Bulldogs were up 48-45 with 3:46 to play and were on the verge of beating their first ranked opponent in 11 years, but that would be the final points of the game for Fresno State. New Mexico made a late surge to end the game on a 9-0 run and take the victory. FSU ended the first half on a 22-4 run. Fresno State is ninth in the MW in scoring offense at 59.6 points per game and ninth in field goal percentage at 39 percent, but third beyond the arc at 35 percent. FSU ranks fifth in scoring defense allowing 61.0 points per contest, second in the MW in three-point field goal defense at 30 percent and second in steals with 7.7 per game. Fresno State is fourth in the conference in turnover margin at plus 1.9, but its plus 0.7 assist-turnover ratio is ninth in the league.
Each Team’s Leaders
Senior forward Leonard Washington posted his second-straight double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds against Nevada, while adding three blocks and tying a career-high with five steals. His 13.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 steals all lead the Cowboys and rank in the top 10 of the MW stats. Senior guard Derrious Gilmore posted 15 points versus the Wolf Pack and has hit at least three treys in the last five games. He leads the league during MW play in threes per game (2.7) and three percentage (39.1). Freshman guard Josh Adams contributed 12 points against Nevada for his second-straight game in double figures and averages 6.6 points and 1.4 assists on the season. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau’s team-high 2.7 assists per game are eighth in the MW and he adds 5.5 points. Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. returned from missing one game due to injury with seven points and eight rebounds. He averages 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds on the season.
Junior guard Tyler Johnson paces the Bulldogs at 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game thanks to a team-high 44 percent from the field and 45 percent from three, but scored just six points against New Mexico. Junior guard Kevin Olekaibe was FSU’s leading scorer against the Lobos with 11 points, as he averages 8.7 points and 1.9 rebounds. Freshman guard Aaron Anderson, redshirt junior guard Jerry Brown and freshman forward Braeden Anderson rounded out Fresno State’s starters against UNM. A total of 11 different Bulldogs have made at least one start this season. Senior forward Kevin Foster came off the bench against the Lobos for a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. His 6.4 rebounds are ninth in the MW, as he adds 7.9 points.
About the Series
The Pokes trail 6-10 in the all-time series with the Bulldogs, but those six wins have all come in Laramie. FSU’s only win at Wyoming was a 65-51 victory on Jan. 5, 1994. The Bulldogs won the previous meeting with the Cowboys, 49-36, on Jan. 16 in Fresno.
Wyoming visits San Diego State on Tuesday at 8 p.m. MT