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• Season Statistics
The Colorado State men’s basketball team (15-7, 5-3 MWC) travels to nearby Laramie, Wyo., to take on rival Wyoming (8-14, 1-7 MWC) on Saturday evening at the Arena-Auditorium. The game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports, with tipoff set for 6:05 p.m. MT.
The Rams and Cowboys are coming off of near upsets conference co-leaders No. 7/6 San Diego State and No. 8/9 BYU, respectively, on Wednesday night. Colorado State, tied for third in the league standings with UNLV, battled to a 54-54 tie with 10 seconds remaining, before SDSU’s hit a game-winner with less than 2 seconds on the clock to lift the Aztecs to 22-1.
Wyoming trailed BYU by just one point with less than a minute to play before Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars escaped the Arena-Auditorium with a 69-62 victory.
Wyoming enters Saturday’s matchup with an overall record of 8-14 (1-7 MWC), and are tied with TCU for last place in the Mountain West Conference standings heading into the second half of league play.
The Cowboys have dropped six consecutive games, with their lone win in conference play coming against New Mexico on Jan. 8. Despite the poor record, however, the Cowboys are coming off one of their best performances of the conference season on Wednesday, falling to No. 8/9 BYU, 69-62. Wyoming led for part of the game, and was within a point with a minute left.
Sophomore Desmar Jackson is the Cowboy’s leading scorer averaging 15.8 points per contest, fourth in the MWC. The Pokes’ lineup features three other regular starters each average 8.9 points or more (senior Djibril Thiam, 10.6; sophomore Amath M’Baye, 10.2 and junior Francisco Cruz, 8.9). M’baye is Wyoming’s top rebounder (5.6 per game; eighth in MWC), followed by Thiam (4.8) and Jackson (4.7). Jackson leads the team in minutes played (30.8) and steals (48), while Thiam is the team’s best shooter (56.8 percent) and leading blocker (31). Jackson’s 48 steals ranks second in the conference, and Thiam’s block total ranks fourth.
As a team, the Cowboys are rank in the top half of the MWC in just two statistical categories: steals per game (7.4; fourth) and turnover margin (+1.27; fourth). They rank last in scoring offense, averaging 65.8 points per game, and are also last in the league in three-point shooting (28.1 percent) and three-point defense (38.9 percent).
Head coach Heath Schroyer is in his fourth year at helm of the Wyoming program, where he has compiled a record of 49-67 heading into Saturday’s contest. Overall he is 84-114 in his seventh season.
Series vs. the Cowboys
The Border War versus Wyoming is one of the Rams’ oldest and fiercest rivalries. Dating all the way back to the 1910-11 season, the Rams have faced off against the Cowboys 212 times, more than 50 games more than any other opponent. Since the initial meeting, the two teams have met at least once each season, except for during the 1922-23 season.
Wyoming has the upper hand in the overall series, leading the 128-84, but Colorado State has won taken three straight from the Cowboys, sweeping the series in 2009-10 and gaining a 73-60 victory at Moby Arena on Jan. 4 in the MWC season opener.
In 26 matchups since the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, the Rams trail 15-11, but the Rams have won nine of the last 16 meetings.
A win over the Cowboys...
• Would mark CSU’s 16th victory of the season, tying the program’s win total from 2009-10 with at least nine games remaining on the Rams’ schedule. This year’s team would be the 20th in program history with at least 16 wins in a season.
• Give CSU four consecutive victories over their arch-rivals from Laramie, their longest win streak against UW since four straight wins during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
CSU will have a week to prepare for its next game, a home contest against the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday, Feb. 12 (7 p.m. MT). Earlier in the season, the Rams fell at The Pit, 68-61, but trailed by just one point with under a minute to play. The game has been designated an Orange Out, with fans encouraged to wear orange remembering CSU’s heritage as the Aggies. The school’s original colors were pumpkin orange and alfalfa green. The team, for the second straight season, will wear Colorado A&M tribute jersey’s with the word “Aggies” across the chest. The New Mexico game is also CSU’s annual Ram Legends Weekend, when past members of the CSU basketball team will gather in Fort Collins for a reunion and be honored at halftime of the game between the Rams and the Lobos.