Facts and Factors
The Utah men's basketball team (10-15, 3-8 MWC) goes for the season sweep of Wyoming (9-16, 2-9 MWC) Wednesday as the Utes host the Cowboys at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. MT and the game will be televised live on CBS College Sports.
Utah enters the game looking to end a five-game drought. In their last outing, the Utes dropped a 72-59 decision at No. 7 BYU. Junior wing Will Clyburn scored a team-high 18 points, while junior center David Foster was the team's leading rebounder with eight boards. He also added a season-high seven points. Junior guard Chris Kupets added 14 points, while freshman wing J.J. O'Brien scored 10 points to go with seven rebounds.
Clyburn remains Utah's leading scorer and rebounder at 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, ranking No. 2 in the Mountain West Conference in each category. Junior guard Josh "Jiggy" Watkins is leading the Utes in assists with 3.3 per game, while Foster leads the team and the MWC in blocks, with 3.0 per contest.
Wyoming comes into this contest fresh off a 77-67 win over TCU, which snapped an eight-game losing streak. The Cowboys are led offensively by Desmar Jackson, who averages 15.1 points per game. Amath M'Baye is their top rebounder at 5.4 boards per contest and JayDee Luster tops the squad in assists with 3.2 per game.
Utah leads the all-time series with Wyoming, 95-75, including a 58-23 record at home. The Utes have won two straight meetings against the Cowboys and five of the last six. In their first matchup of the season, Utah grabbed a 68-51 victory in Laramie. Clyburn led the Utes with a double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while Foster also registered double-digit boards with 11. Wyoming's leading scorer was Jackson with 17 points, while M'Baye tallied a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Utah is 7-5 at home this season, while Wyoming is still searching for its first road win, standing at 0-8.
Utah head coach Jim Boylen, now in his fourth year at the helm for the Utes, owns a 66-57 (.537) record. Wyoming is led by interim head coach Fred Langley, who is 1-1 since taking over coaching responsibilities in early February.
Not that is matters much at this point in the season with things going from bad to worse, but this is a very winnable game for the Utes.
Coming off of their fifth straight loss in a game against BYU in which they played very well for stretches and were done in by one Cougar run in the second half, the Utes really needed an opponent like this. Wyoming has arguably the worst team in the conference, with a new head coach coming to town. Utah ripped the Cowboys in Laramie in their matchup last month in what was arguably their best game of the season. Utah can play down to their opponent in this one and still get the win.
Wyoming was the first team in the country to can their coach this year with the departure of Heath Schroyer. This is a team in turmoil that used to be a middle of pack MWC team. Now they are perennial bottom feeders with no end in sight.
These are two teams that will likely be looking for new coaches in the offseason.
Utah is just too big and athletic for Wyoming to handle. The size and homecourt advantage (although there hasn't been much of one with the paltry attendance figures this year) will be too much for Wyoming and their new coach to overcome. Wyoming has the lead at the half, but Utah opens the second with a big run and never relinquishes the lead, ending the losing streak at five before heading to the Pit to face a New Mexico team that will surely be seeking revenge for their loss at the Hunstman Center in January.
Utah 70 Wyoming 61
Game Preview- Wyoming at Utah
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