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BYU at Wyoming preview
B-Y-U (6-11) at Wyoming (8-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, January 17th, 12:00 a.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Arena Auditorium (15,000) -- Laramie, Wyoming. Television: ESPN. Home Record: BYU 4-4, Wyoming 6-2. Away Record: BYU 1-4, Wyoming 1-4. Neutral Record: BYU 1-3, Wyoming 1-1. Conference Record: BYU 0-2, Wyoming 0-2. Series Record: BYU leads, 89-67.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams still searching for their first Mountain West Conference victory of the year square off at Arena Auditorium in Laramie tonight, as the BYU Cougars try to claw their way past the Wyoming Cowboys. The Cougars bring an 0-2 league ledger into the game following a 74-67 setback at Colorado State on Saturday. It was the third loss in the past four games by BYU, which dropped to 6-11 overall and 1-4 on the road. As for Wyoming, it also dropped to 0-2 in league play on Saturday, when it was pounded by Utah, 74-49. The loss was the Cowboys' second in its past three games, dropping it to 8-7 overall and 6-2 at home. With regard to the all-time series between these two schools, BYU owns an 89-67 advantage, including wins in both games a year ago.
Although the Cougars have just two players averaging double figures in the scoring column, they still have been able to turn in a respectable 68.8 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting from the floor this season. Mike Hall currently leads the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg, and is also grabbing 4.0 rpg. Austin Ainge has been a nice complement and is contributing 10.2 ppg and a team-best 3.7 apg. In the team's last game, Ainge poured in 25 points and dished out six assists, but it wasn't enough in a seven-point loss to Colorado State. Hall added 11 points for the Cougars, who shot a dismal 34.8 percent from the floor. The team also struggled from behind the arc (8-of-30), in addition to losing the battle on the boards, 39-35.
It was certainly one of the worst performances of the year by Wyoming, as it shot a dismal 36.7 percent from the floor in a 25-point home loss to Utah. The team also struggled from long range (5-of-16) and from the foul line (8-of-14) in the loss. The Cowboys were also dominated on the boards, 35-22, in addition to allowing Utah to shoot 58.7 percent from the field. Straight led the team in defeat with 12 points and four assists, while Kevin Lewis chipped in with 10 points. On the year, Straight has done it all for the Cowboys and leads them in scoring (17.6 ppg), assists (5.1 apg) and steals (24). Steve Leven is next in line with 12.4 ppg, while Alex Dunn follows with 10.6 ppg and a team- best 8.4 rpg. As a team, the Cowboys are averaging 70.8 ppg behind 44.4 percent shooting from the field.
It should be an entertaining contest between a couple of schools in desperate need of a league win. Wyoming has played its best at home this season and with a big game from Straight and company, it should prevail in a close one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wyoming 72, BYU 66