Pokes heading south for crucial Border War meeting with CSU
LARAMIE -- The Cowboys head south to take on Colorado State on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. in a contest on CBS Sports Network. Both teams are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
Wyoming won the first contest of the season in overtime by a score of 84-78.
"When we went to overtime, I mean, what our guys were saying the huddle -- they were going to go win that game," UW's second-year head coach Jeff Linder said. "We always talk about winning plays and I could go down the line in terms of guys that just stepped up and made winning plays."
Fans can, listen to the contest, as well as follow stats on GoWyo.com. The contest will be broadcast live on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, as Reece Monaco will have the call with Kevin McKinney on color.
About The Teams
Wyoming heads into the contest with a 22-4 overall record and a 11-2 mark in the conference and are in second place in the Mountain West.
The Pokes defeated Air Force 75-67 at home on Saturday. The Cowboys are 8-3 on the road this season. Wyoming is averaging 75.7 points per game, ranking second in the conference behind Colorado State.
The Pokes are shooting 48 percent from the field for No. 26 in the nation and are allowing opponents to shoot 42 percent to rank fourth in the conference. Wyoming has five games remaining with three of those contests in the Dome of Doom.
The Rams have won five of their last six games with their only loss occurring in their last game at UNLV on Saturday.
A LOOK BACK AT THE FIRST BORDER WAR:
They sit in third in the Mountain West Conference standings with an 11-4 league record. Colorado State is the highest-scoring squad in the MWC, averaging 76.1 points per game. The Rams surrender 67.6 points per contest, allowing foes to shoot 42.7 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
Conversely, Colorado State connects on a league-best 49 percent of its field goal attempts and 36.5 percent of its shots from 3-point land.
About The Players
Wyoming is led by scoring this season by Graham Ike at 21.1 per game to rank second in the league and ninth in the nation. He also leads the team in rebounds at 9.4 per game for second in the MW. He is one of three players in the nation to average over 20 points per game and nine or more rebounds.
He, along with Hunter Maldonado, are the nation’s top scoring duo.
Maldonado adds 19.6 points per game to rank third in the MW. He ranks second in the conference and ranks fifth in the nation with 6.3 assists per game. In the first edition of the Border War, the Colorado Springs native netted a season-high 35 points in the win over the Rams. Ike added 16.
Drake Jeffries adds 10.3 points per night and ranks No. 13 in the nation shooting 43 percent from behind the arc. Jeffries also scored 16 points in the first meeting between these two rivals.
The Rams are led by David Roddy who pours in 19.4 points per game, and that ranks fourth in the Mountain West Conference. He also leads the squad with 7.6 rebounds per contest while also chipping in three assists per game.
Roddy, who was coached by former Wyoming wide receiver and Biletnikoff Trophy winner, Marcus Harris, in high school, scored a team-high 23 against the Cowboys in late January but missed what likely would have been a game-winning free throw with just a pair of ticks remaining on the game clock. Wyoming would go on to outscore the Rams 14-8 in overtime.
"It was a brutally tough loss for us," CSU head coach Niko Medved said postgame. "Unbelievable basketball game by both of these teams. It's just kind of what you would expect here today. It's a great atmosphere up here. Our guys came to play, I thought they battled their butt off.
"Ultimately, you know, we just had to make a few more plays."
Isaiah Stevens adds 15.2 points and a team-best 4.9 assists per game, which ranks third in the league. John Tonje comes off the bench to chip in 10.2 points per contest. Stevens finished with 17 in Laramie and Tonje added 15.
Tonje is playing despite a meniscus tear suffered in early January.
About The Series
Wyoming leads the all-time series with Colorado State, 137-100. The Border War battle between these two dates back to 1911. The Rams have claimed wins in six of the last 10 meetings and five of the last seven, however, the Pokes won this year’s matchup in Laramie, 84-78, in overtime.
Wyoming is 54-58 all-time at CSU. Moby Arena (8,745 capacity) will be sold out for Wednesday night's matchup.
Wyoming returns home, playing host to Nevada on Saturday at 6 p.m. inside the Arena-Auditorium.
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release contributed to this report