Pokes, Lobos to Hook up in Opening Round of MW Tournament
LAS VEGAS, Nev., -- The Wyoming Cowboys, the 11th seed will take on sixth seed New Mexico in the First Round of the 2023 Mountain West Basketball Championship on Wednesday at 5 p.m. MT. In the in Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The Contest will be streamed on the Mountain West Network with Nate Kreckman on the call and Richie Scheuler as the analyst.
Fans can listen to the contest, as well as follow stats on GoWyo.com. The game will be broadcast live on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, as Keith Kelley will have the call with Kevin McKinney on color.
About The Teams
The Cowboys head into the game with a 9-21 overall record and went 4-14 in conference play The Cowboys head into the game averaging 8.6 three-pointers per game on the season, which ranks second in the MW and xx in the nation. Wyoming is shooting 35 percent from behind the arc for the season. Wyoming is shooting 44 percent from the field on the season and are allowing an opponent to shoot 46 percent. The Cowboys are 16-22 all-time in Mountain West tournaments and are 2-2 under head coach Jeff Linder.
New Mexico enjoyed a dream 14-0 start to the season, as it was the last team in the nation to suffer a defeat. The Lobos finished the Mountain West season with a 8-10 overall record after falling on the road at Colorado State in the regular season finale. The Lobos average 81.2 points per game, connecting on 48.6 percent of their field-goal attempts and 36.3 percent of their shots from 3-point land. New Mexico’s foes score 73.4 points per contest on 43.4 percent shooting from the floor and 32.7 percent from deep.
"We respect the talent of New Mexico and what those guys do," Linder said. "They've had a little tough stretch here lately, but from a talent standpoint, they're one of the more talented teams in the league and we're going to have our hands full."
About The Players
The Pokes are led in scoring by senior Hunter Maldonado at 14.8 points per game. He ranks ninth in the conference and added 16.5 points per game in conference play which ranks seventh in the league. He adds 4.2 assists per game this season for sixth in the conference. He became to become the first player in NCAA History to record at least 2,000 points, 800 rebounds and 600 assists He became the MW all-time leader in assists and has 627 in his career. Jeremiah Oden adds 9.4 points per game and scored a career-high 28 points against Nevada. He averages 11.3 points per game in conference play. Hunter Thompson leads the Pokes with 5.4 rebounds per game after 13 against Nevada, which was a career high. Xavier DuSell shot 46 percent from behind the arc in conference play to lead the league.
New Mexico boasts a three-headed scoring attack. That grouping is led by Jamal Mashburn Jr. who pours in 19.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Jaelen House isn’t far behind, adding 16.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and a team-best 4.7 assists per contest. Morris Udeze chips in 16.4 points and a team-high 9.2 rebounds per game.
House didn't play against the Cowboys in last month's 70-56 loss in Albuquerque.
"House, not having played at The Pit, I mean, obviously, that makes a big difference," Linder said. "You know, when House did play, they got us at our place in basically a one-possession game."
About The Series
New Mexico owns a slight 77-72 edge in the all-time series. Wyoming has won four of the last six matchups, which includes a 70-56 victory in the Pit last month.
The winner between Wyoming and New Mexico will advance to the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament where No. 3-seeded Utah State awaits. That game is set for Thursday at 9:30 p.m. MT.
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