OREM, Utah — Utah Valley will usher in the new year with its first home contest in more than two weeks when it welcomes the Wyoming Cowboys of the Mountain West Conference to the UCCU Center Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally by Fox College Sports.
Wyoming (12-2) enters Tuesday's match-up in second place in the MWC standings, just behind No. 17 UNLV. Most recently, the Cowboys picked up a road win at Idaho State, 80-56, behind 18 points off the bench from Derrious Gilmore. UW leading scorer Luke Martinez added 16 points while senior center Adam Waddell chipped in 13.
Tuesday's game marks the second leg of a home-and-home series between UVU and Wyoming during the 2011-12 season. Wyoming won the first meeting — which was also the first meeting all-time between the schools — in Laramie on Nov. 30.
"Their size and toughness really caused us problems in our first game," said Wolverine head coach Dick Hunsaker. "We simply need to be better prepared and more determined to have a chance to be competitive in our rematch."
Martinez, a guard, leads the Pokes with 12.5 points per game, followed by Francisco Cruz's 11.6 points per game. Forward Leonard Washington paces UW on the boards, grabbing 6.1 rebounds a game alongside 11.4 points.
Defensively, the Cowboys rank third in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing just 50.6 points per game. They are the only team in the country yet to allow an opponent to score more than 60 points this season.
The Wolverines (7-9) closed out the 2011 portion of their schedule with a four-game, transcontinental road trip that took them to consecutive away games at Maine, Montana and to a pair of games at the Dr Pepper Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn. UVU went 1-4 on the road trip, picking up a 42-40 win over Hampton at the Classic before falling to host UT-Chattanooga the next evening.
The Wolverines are led by Isiah Williams' 13.8 points per game, followed by Geddes Robinson's double-double average of 10.5 points and 10.3 boards per game.
The Wolverines begin another home-and-home, in-season series on Saturday when Seattle visits the UCCU Center for a 7 p.m. fixture. UVU will travel to Seattle for the return leg next Friday.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com