Boise State (12-2) at Wyoming (13-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 9, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Arena Auditorium (15,000) -- Laramie, Wyoming. Television: ROOT. Home Record: BSU 7-0, Wyoming 9-0. Away Record: BSU 3-2, Wyoming 4-0. Neutral Record: BSU 2-0, Wyoming 0-0. Conference Record: BSU 0-0, Wyoming 0-0. Series Record: Wyoming leads, 10-5.
GAME NOTES: Off to the best start in program history, the undefeated Wyoming Cowboys finally kick off their Mountain West Conference schedule on Wednesday night against the Boise State Broncos at Arena Auditorium in Laramie.
Winners of 13 straight games right out of the gate, the Cowboys are riding their longest win streak since ripping off 23 in a row back in 1942-43. Only the second MWC team to ever begin league play without a loss, the other being the 2010-11 San Diego State Aztecs, Wyoming is currently one of only a handful of Division I teams still undefeated.
Winners of 22 straight at home, the most recent victory for the Pokes took place on the road at SMU last week in a narrow 59-56 final as they played without Luke Martinez who is out indefinitely with a hand injury.
As for the Broncos, they too are off to a successful start with 12 wins in 14 opportunities. The team is currently enjoying a six-game win streak thanks to a 106-39 thrashing of Walla Walla over the weekend. The scoring outburst marked the second in the last three games in which BSU reached triple-digits, which has done wonders for the team's offensive stats as it begins its second MWC campaign after coming over from the Western Athletic Conference.
The 67-point margin of victory for the Broncos set a new school record, while the 39 points allowed were the fewest since the squad gave up a record-low 35 to Cal Poly back on Dec. 12, 1994.
As far as the all-time series is concerned, Wyoming owns a 10-5 advantage against the Broncos dating back to 1979. The Pokes have won three straight and five of the last six encounters, thanks to a 64-54 victory in the most recent meeting last February at home.
Ryan Watkins erupted for a career-high 22 points and also pulled down 11 rebounds for the Broncos as they whipped up on visiting Walla Walla over the weekend. Opening the game on an 18-0 run, the Broncos put four players in double figures as Anthony Drmic also scored 22 points, shooting 5-of-7 behind the 3-point line, followed by Thomas Bropleh and Jeff Elorriaga with 14 points apiece. The team shot a staggering 79.3 percent from the floor in the first half and 62.9 percent for the game. Although he wasn't one of the double-digit scorers over the weekend, Derrick Marks continues to pace the team overall with his 16.3 ppg, not to mention handing out 56 assists and posting 32 steals which are also tops on the unit. Drmic (15.4 ppg) and Elorriaga (11.5 ppg) are both shooting better than 41.0 percent beyond the arc which has pushed the team to 41.3 percent from long range at this point.
Without Martinez, the Cowboys found life on the road in Dallas to be a bit tougher as they won by just three points against host SMU last week. Leonard Washington picked up some of the slack as he recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Larry Nance Jr. and Josh Adams recorded 12 and 11 points, respectively, for a squad that made a total of just 20 field goals and nearly suffered their first loss of the season with a mere 12-of-21 shooting at the free-throw line. Before heading to the sidelines, Martinez was the second-leading scorer for the Pokes with 14.5 ppg, trailing only Washington (15.1 ppg), and was the most reliable 3-point shooter for the program with 42.2 percent accuracy out on the perimeter. Derrious Gilmore (11.8 ppg) is now tasked with handling the majority of the outside shooting since he has made good on 41.5 percent of his tries.
As good as the Cowboys might be, trying to get by without Martinez will not be easy. Boise State might not be a powerhouse program, but the team does have enough firepower to take out Wyoming even on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 78, Wyoming 73
01/09 10:39:43 ET