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Wyoming Cowboys, Boise State Broncos meet in showdown of MWC leaders

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Posted at 9:51 AM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 11:51:09-05

(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)

LARAMIE, Wyo. - The top two teams in the Mountain West will meet for the second time this season on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming is winners of eight of its last nine with the Broncos winning 14-straight games including a win over Wyoming for the Pokes’ only MW loss of the season. The contest will be streamed on Stadium and the Mountain West Network.

Fans can watch and listen to the contest, as well as follow stats on GoWyo.com. The contest will be broadcast live on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, as Reece Monaco will have the call with Kevin McKinney on color.

Wyoming is coming off an overtime win against Colorado State on Monday evening by a score of 84-78. The Pokes are off to their best start in 20-games since going 17-3 in 2014-15. Wyoming is shooting 50 percent from the field in conference games this season and have shot 50 percent or better in four MW games. The Cowboys have also won the rebound battle in five-straight games and rank fourth in the conference in rebound margin at +2.8. The Pokes are averaging No. 13 in the nation in three-point percentage defense at 28.5. Wyoming allows only 6.7 three-pointers per game.

The Broncos are one of the hottest teams in the nation, winning 14-straight, having not lost since Nov. 30 against St. Louis. That torrid stretch includes a perfect 8-0 start to the MW season. Boise State is 6-1 on the road this season with its only loss occurring at UC Irvine on Nov. 13. The Broncos lay claim to the seventh-best offense in the league, pouring in 67.7 points per game, while their defense ranks third, yielding 58.3 points per contest. Boise State is shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and 34.2 percent from 3-point land. The Broncos are second-best in the conference, allowing their foes to shoot just 40.5 percent from the floor.

Wyoming is led in scoring by Graham Ike at 19.7 points per game, a number that ranks second the MW conference and ranks No. 30 in the nation. He also leads the team grabbing 8.9 rebounds per game to rank third in the MW. Hunter Maldonado adds 19.4 points per game to rank third in the conference. He leads the team with 6.4 assists per game to lead the conference and rank fifth in the nation. Drake Jeffries adds 11.4 points per game. He leads the conference and ranks fourth in the nation shooting 48 percent from behind the arc.

The Broncos enjoy a balanced scoring attack where three players average in double figures. Abu Kigab leads the way, collecting 13.2 points per game to go alongside his 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest. Marcus Shaver Jr. adds 12.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, while Emmanuel Akot chips in 11.4 points and three assists per contest.

Wyoming trails the all-time series with the Broncos 20-14, in a series that dates back to 1979. Boise State has won eight in a row against the Pokes with half of those meetings being in Laramie.

Wyoming takes to the road, traveling to Fresno State on Sunday for a 5 p.m. tip inside Save Mart Center.