A Mountain West Conference matchup versus the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Wyoming Cowboys take place Friday night at 8 pm EST at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyoming. Currently, the Wolf Pack is favored by 4-points, up from 3.5-points at the opening, while the total sits at 148.5-points, up from 148-points.
The Wolf Pack won their 10th game on the season along with their 2nd-straight as they were able to take out the Fresno State Bulldogs at home for the 2nd time in 3 days as they were able to pull away in the 2nd half thanks to their offense having an efficient night along with its defense allowing just 42% shooting to the road team in addition to forcing a total of 18 turnovers. Leading scorer Grant Sherfield led the way with 27 points and 8 assists on a night where he not only shot 8-15 from the field, but hit all 10 of his attempts from the free-throw line. Nevada covered the spread for the 6th-straight game as 6-point favorites, bringing their record to 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games.
Wyoming was finally able to halt a 4-game losing skid when they picked up a win Monday night on the road versus the Falcons of Air Force as they dominated the 1st half of play outscoring the Falcons 38-23 en route to a 19-point win. The team was outstanding on the offensive end shooting 49% on the night while hitting 16 treys with reserves Xavier DuSell along with Drake Jeffries accounting for 9, total. Hunter Maldonado posted just 11 points while going 2-3 from deep as the Cowboys posted their 8th win on the year. Furthermore, Wyoming was able to cover as 3.5-point favorites, halting a 4-game skid against the number.
Wyoming seeks their 2nd-straight win over the Wolf Pack as they were able to take a 3-point road victory March of 2020 as 10.5-point underdogs, halting a 3-game road losing streak. Wyoming has also covered in 3-straight contests versus Nevada, yet the Wolf Pack has covered the number in 3 of their last 5 matchups versus the Cowboys at Arena-Auditorium.
Wolf Pack offense shines in win over BulldogsAnd while the offense for Nevada has certainly had to deal with some issues with consistency throughout the year, the team, despite finishing just 5-19 from long-range, was able to shoot 47% from the floor in their 2nd-straight win over Fresno State last Sunday. Sherfield (19 ppg, 4 rebs) was spectacular yet again in posting 20 points or more in each of his last 6 starts as he went 8-15 from the floor to lead with 27 points. Guard Desmond Cambridge, Jr. (15 ppg, 5 rebs) struggled a bit throughout the contest, yet was able to post 12 points along with 11 boards while forward Tre Coleman, who is averaging just 5 points per game on the year, was able to provide a lift with 11 points as Nevada was able to post their highest point total in 4 games.
✅ 25.0 ppg, 6.00 apg in the 🧹 of Fresno State.— Nevada Basketball (@NevadaHoops) January 19, 2021
✅ Six-straight 2️⃣0️⃣-point games.
✅ Top-5 in scoring, assists, assist-to-TO ratio, FT pct. in @MountainWest play.
Don’t 😴 on @gsherfield5...#BattleBorn pic.twitter.com/Uv9ZYrWgct
Now, with 2-straight wins, they seek to take out a Wyoming team that has been up and down on the year, yet were able to pick up a much-needed win in their last matchup versus the Falcons. Again, the Wolf Pack has had tons of success on the road versus Wyoming, including picking up a 5-point victory in their last visit to Arena-Auditorium in February of last year. In this contest, Nevada was able to outlast the home team thanks to 45% shooting along with a huge defensive effort that gave up just 39% shooting to the Cowboys.
Important to note, however, that the Wolf Pack had 18 turnovers in the game and have had issues in this area all season a Sherfield has tallied a total of 41 in 2020, including committing 8 in his last 2 outings. Cambridge, Jr. also had 4 turnovers in their 2-game finale versus the Bulldogs.
Cowboys' offense wakes up in win over Air ForceBefore Mountain West play began, the Cowboys posting 76 points or better in their first 4 games of the season. However, since beginning their conference slate, Wyoming's offense, which is averaging 78 points on 46% shooting, has posted an average of 68 points in 5 games prior to their meeting versus the Falcons. However, the Cowboys took the floor red-hot from the perimeter in putting up 38 points in the first half along with another 39 in the 2nd en route to a blowout victory on the road. This win was very much needed for Wyoming as they certainly hope that this type of play will continue as they move forward.
Guard DuSell (7 ppg) has really come on for Wyoming as of late in posting double-digits (19 versus Falcons) in each of his last 3 outings while shooting 46% from deep. On the other hand, guard Jeffries (8 ppg) certainly came out of his slump in a big way posting 12 points on a highly efficient night from the field. Important to add that Jeffries is hitting over 42% of his shots from long-range in 2020. Guard Marcus Williams (16 ppg) finished with 10 points in just 23 minutes of play while Maldonada (14 ppg, 7 rebs) played 27 minutes while racking up 11 points, 6 boards, while posting 4 assists. Maldonada went 6-15 FG (2-7 3FG) in their last matchup versus the Wolf Pack to post 14 points in the 5-point defeat at home.
Stats & Trends
- Cowboys are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Cowboys are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Cowboys are 2-6 ATS in last 8 games
- Wolf Pack are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Wolf Pack are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Wolf Pack are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Wolf Pack are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Despite a couple hiccups on the road versus one of the best in the Mountain West in the San Diego State Aztecs earlier this month where they fell by an average of just over 3 points, the Wolf Pack has really continued their consistency on both ends of the floor in 2020-21. Furthermore, they have gotten it done both at home as well as on the road as they are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games in addition to covering in 4 of their last 5 road games versus the Cowboys. In all, the Wolf Pack are in the thick of things as it relates to the deciding who is indeed the best team in the Mountain West. With so much on the line, expect them to take a business-minded approach to this contest and cover the 4-points in a solid road win.