South Dakota (0-2) at Wyoming (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 22, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Arena Auditorium (15,000) -- Laramie, Wyoming. Television: ROOT-RM. Home Record: South Dakota 0-0, Wyoming 3-0. Away Record: South Dakota 0-2, Wyoming 0-1. Neutral Record: South Dakota 0-0, Wyoming 0-0. Conference Record: South Dakota 0-0, Wyoming 0-0. Series Record: Wyoming leads, 6-2.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota Coyotes again shoot for their first win of the season as they contend against the Wyoming Cowboys in non-conference play at Arena Auditorium.
South Dakota, which doesn't play a home game this season until Nov. 30 when it hosts Graceland in Vermillion, has two defeats on the ledger thus far, both coming in the Empire State. The squad first suffered a 68-46 setback to St. Bonaventure in the season opener and then went down to Canisius in Buffalo two days later, 71-66. The Coyotes have been idle since that Nov. 11 meeting with the Golden Griffins.
As for the Cowboys, they've posted three wins in their first four games of 2013-14, the lone loss coming against Colorado on the road, 63-58, nine days ago. More recently Wyoming posted a second straight win with a 73-65 final versus Jackson State earlier this week.
Tonight's game is the 100th for head coach Larry Shyatt with the Cowboys, sporting a record of 63-36 heading in.
Wyoming leads the all-time series between the squads by a count of 6-2, the most recent decision being a 71-51 triumph here in Laramie just last season. The last victory for the Coyotes was an 80-70 decision three years ago in the only game not played on Wyoming's home floor.
Trevor Gruis became the 11th player in South Dakota history to have at least 1,000 points and 600 rebounds in his career, achieving the feat against Canisius, but still he and the Coyotes absorbed the loss at the Koessler Athletic Center. Gruis came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he tallied 18 points and handed out four assists. Brandon Bos chipped in with 13 points and Tyler Larson 10 in 14 minutes off the bench for a squad that shot only 37.3 percent from the field and 5-of-18 behind the 3-point line.
Through a pair of games Gruis is the top scorer for South Dakota with his 15.5 ppg, getting the job done with an impressive 57.9 percent accuracy from the floor. However, the team as a whole is still having difficulty finding the basket as the Coyotes knock down just 35.6 percent from the field, including a disappointing 9-of-36 (.250) out on the perimeter. Bos accounts for another 13.5 ppg, which means the duo combines for more than half the unit's 56.0 ppg.
Except for Derek Cooke who tallied just four points, but pulled down 10 rebounds and made three blocks, every starter scored in double figures for the Cowboys in the win over Jackson State Monday night. Riley Grabau led the way with 16 points, Larry Nance dropped in 15 and cleared seven rebounds, while Josh Adams and Nathan Sobey produced 11 points apiece. Wyoming led the entire way, shooting 52.8 percent from the field in order to overcome 16 turnovers.
Grabau heads a list of three double-digit scorers through four games, his 14.5 ppg, thanks in large part to his 55.6 percent shooting behind the 3-point line. Nance (13.3 ppg) and Adams (12.3 ppg), along with Grabau, are shooting well over 53 percent from the floor at the moment, driving the team's efforts to an even 50.0 percent as well, as they outscore the competition by 10.5 ppg.
The Cowboys might not be world beaters, but they still have plenty of experience and talent, contributing to a tough defense and a balanced offensive attack that should carry them through tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wyoming 74, South Dakota 65
11/22 10:40:34 ET