Wyoming (14-1) at Fresno State (6-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 16, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Save Mart Center (15,596) -- Fresno, California. Television: None. Home Record: Wyoming 9-1, FSU 3-4. Away Record: Wyoming 5-0, FSU 3-5. Neutral Record: Wyoming 0-0, FSU 0-0. Conference Record: Wyoming 1-1, FSU 0-2. Series Record: Fresno State leads, 9-6.
GAME NOTES: The only team in the Mountain West Conference with a record under .500 entering this week, the Fresno State Bulldogs shoot for an upset of the Wyoming Cowboys on Wednesday night when the two squads clash at the Save Mart Center.
One of the newest additions to the MWC, the Bulldogs have started out league play with a pair of setbacks, and have now lost six of their last seven outings overall, with the lone win during the run coming against Sonoma State at the end of December.
Most recently, the Bulldogs were in action against nationally-ranked New Mexico over the weekend and were treated to a 72-45 setback in Albuquerque. With the loss, FSU fell to 6-9 on the season.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys are one of the most successful teams in the country through 15 games, losing just once to Boise State on a last-second shot a week ago. The Pokes opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 13-game win streak and they're now 14-1 thanks to a 59-48 victory over Nevada in Reno last Saturday afternoon. With that win, Wyoming is a perfect 5-0 on the road.
Fresno State leads the all-time series with the Cowboys by a count of 9-6. More importantly, the Bulldogs have never lost to Wyoming at home in seven meetings.
Leonard Washington had a fantastic game against Nevada over the weekend, filling his stat line with 16 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and three steals, as the team defeated the Wolf Pack in Reno. Aside from the performance by Washington, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the game for the Cowboys was that they didn't pack it in after shooting just 28 percent from the field in the first half. In fact, they came out of the break with a vengeance, hitting on 68.2 percent from the floor, while also holding the Pack to just 28.6 percent. With the loss of Luke Martinez to injury, and now an indefinite suspension because of a bar fight, the pressure has mounted for Washington and he has responded, now averaging 14.9 ppg and 8.8 rpg, while also coming up with 32 blocked shots and 37 assists as he does everything possible to ensure success for the group. Derrious Gilmore and Larry Nance Jr. are also lending support with 11.7 and 10.6 ppg, respectively, to a team that is holding the competition to a mere 54.7 ppg at the moment.
Against New Mexico, the Bulldogs recorded just eight field goals in each half, finishing the meeting at only 33.3 percent accuracy from the floor and 5-of-20 behind the 3-point line as they suffered the lopsided setback in The Pit. Marvelle Harris scored 11 points to lead the team, followed by Robert Upshaw with nine before he fouled out. Having yet another disappointing outing was Kevin Olekaibe who connected on just 1-of-8 beyond the arc, 2-of-11 from the floor, en route to five points. While not at the level of the Cowboys right now, the defense for Fresno State has also been rather tough most of the time this season, holding foes to just 60.4 ppg. However, one of the major differences between the squads is that Wyoming has the potential to explode on offense and that is not the case for the Bulldogs, at least not when facing Division I foes. Only twice this season has FSU scored more than 80 points and those games were against Sonoma and San Diego Christian. As a group, Fresno is shooting only 39.3 percent from the field, en route to 61.0 ppg.
Expect a low-scoring game for sure, which may give the Bulldogs a fighting chance, although the cards are stacked against them even at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wyoming 65, Fresno State 51
01/16 10:35:17 ET