Wyoming (13-1) at Nevada (9-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lawlor Events Center (11,536) -- Reno, Nevada. Television: Local. Home Record: Wyoming 9-1, Nevada 8-1. Away Record: Wyoming 4-0, Nevada 1-5. Neutral Record: Wyoming 0-0, Nevada 0-0. Conference Record: Wyoming 0-1, Nevada 0-1. Series Record: Wyoming leads, 7-1.
GAME NOTES: With their 13-game win streak coming to an end on Wednesday night, the Wyoming Cowboys can now focus their efforts solely on competing against the rest of the Mountain West Conference as they challenge the Nevada Wolf pack at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno on Saturday.
For the most part the Cowboys have had their way with the competition this season, but last week the team showed some cracks in the armor as it won by just three points at SMU (59-56). Three nights ago, the squad finally had its run snapped by Boise State in the conference opener, 63-61, at Arena Auditorium where it had also won 22 straight. The Broncos won the contest on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
As for Nevada, the team is three games over .500 at the moment, but on Wednesday night it lost to Air Force in the conference opener, 78-65, which means it has now lost back-to-back decisions for the second time this season. However, when it comes to playing in Reno, the Pack has captured eight of nine contests thus far in 2012-13.
The Cowboys have been in complete control of this series, one that dates back to 1938, winning seven of the previous eight encounters. The most recent meeting took place in 1999 in Laramie where the Pokes captured a convincing 83-64 victory.
Ahead by as many as 10 points in the second half, the Cowboys were still on shaky ground against Boise State in a game that featured eight ties and 10 lead changes. The squad used just two reserves who accounted for six points, which left Derrious Gilmore and his 17 points to shoulder most of the load. Josh Adams and Leonard Washington both tallied 12 points and Riley Grabau 10, while Larry Nance Jr. cleared nine rebounds but scored a mere four points in 36 minutes of action. Washington is not only the top scorer for the team at the moment with his 14.9 ppg, he is also first with 8.5 rpg and 28 blocked shots, giving opponents something to think about when they consider attacking in the paint. Gilmore (12.1 ppg) and Nance (10.7 ppg) now have the added responsibility for taking up some of the slack left by Luke Martinez (14.5 ppg) who is missing in action due to an injury.
Nevada experienced a massive scoring swing during the meeting with the Falcons earlier this week, going from eight points up in the first half to trailing by as many as 20 in the second before making one final run in what turned into a 13-point loss. Deonte Burton scored a team-best 21 points, shooting 4-of-7 behind the three-point line, while Devonte Elliott chipped in with 12 points in just 17 minutes off the bench in the losing cause. Having an awful outing was Malik Story who made just one of his seven field goal chances, finishing with three points while turning the ball over five times and dealing with foul trouble. Burton and Story have been the one-two punch on offense for the Pack so far this season, averaging 16.1 and 15.9 ppg, respectively, but you can see what happens when one of them doesn't hold up their end of the bargain. The pair accounts for just under half of the unit's 71.9 ppg and has also combined for 78 assists, which means they are trying to get the rest of the roster involved as well.
Assuming Story will make an extra effort to offset his performance versus Air Force, being at home against a team that has finally been beaten should work in favor of the Wolf Pack.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nevada 69, Wyoming 64
01/12 10:49:26 ET