Pokes Host Chattanooga in Season Opener on Friday


LARAMIE– The Cowboys open the 2017-18 campaign on Friday evening hosting Chattanooga in the Arena-Auditorium for a 7 p.m. start. It is the first meeting between the two schools.

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Pokes Won 12 of Last 13 Season Openers

The Cowboys have been solid in season openers sporting an impressive 76-36 (.679) record, including wins in 12 of their last 13 seasons opening games that dates back to the 2004-05 season.

In home openers, the Cowboys are even more impressive, posting an all-time record of 90-22 (.804).

How to Listen to and Watch the Game

Fans can watch the action with live video and stats on GoWyo.com. The game will be broadcast live on radio over the 25 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network.

A Look at the Matchup

Head coach Allen Edwards, who had the third-most wins amongst first year head coaches in the NCAA last season will welcome back three starters and nine letterwinners from a team that won the College Basketball Invitational.

It was Wyoming’s first postseason championship since 1943. The Pokes finished last season with a 23-15 overall record.

The Cowboys set a school and Mountain West record with 369 three-pointers last season. The Pokes also set a school record in points (2,961), rebounds (1,455) and assists (568). Additionally, UW, also No. 19 in the nation in field goal percentage defense at 40.1.

Pokes Won Exhibition Game Last Week

Wyoming defeated Regis in an exhibition contest 75-65 last Friday evening in Laramie. Senior guard Alexander Aka Gorski led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-13 scoring, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore forward Andrew Moemeka pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, while redshirt junior guard Nyaires Redding led the Pokes with five assists and shot a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line, as he added 14 points.

Senior forward Hayden Dalton added 10 points with freshman Hunter Maldonado pouring in 12 points.

Mocs Had 19-12 Record Last Season

The Mocs were 19-12 last season and finished tied for fourth in the SoCon. Chattanooga does not return a starter from last season’s team. The Mocs are one of five teams in the nation to not return a single starter, but does returns five letterwinners from last season’s team.

Chattanooga averaged 74.6 points per game last season and allowed 68.8. Defensively, the Mocs added 4.7 blocks per game and added 7.8 steals.

The Mocs dropped an exhibition contest to Francis Marion by a score of 68-63 last Saturday. Chattanooga was dominate on the glass grabbing 49 rebounds and holding FMU to only 27.

Pokes’ Leaders

Wyoming’s top returner is junior guard Justin James. He was named to the Preseason All-MW team after averaging 16.0 points per game last season. Honorable Mention All-MW selection Hayden Dalton returns, as he added 12.2 points per game and a team-best 8.3 rebounds. Both players came primarily off the bench a season ago.

Starters returning include senior forward Alan Herndon, who averaged 11.1 points per game. He was second on the team in rebounds adding 6.0 per game.

Fellow senior guards Louis Adams added 7.6 points per game in 16 starts, while Alexander Aka Gorski started 15 games for the Pokes adding 7.7 points per game and recorded 56 three pointers.

Junior forward Jordan Naughton averaged 4.4 points per game to go along with 2.8 rebounds in 26 starts. He shot 60 percent from the field going, 89-of-138.

Other returners include sophomore guard Cody Kelley, who scored 3.4 points per game and added 1.5 assists. Sophomore forward Andrew Moemeka added 1.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Sam Averbuck added 0.7 points per game appearing in six games.

The returners will be joined by redshirt junior guard Nyaires Redding, redshirt sophomore forward Brodricks Jones and redshirt freshman forward Austin Mueller.

Newcomers in freshmen guards Anthony Mack, Hunter Maldonado and forward Hunter Thompson will add depth for the Pokes.

Mocs’ Leaders

The Moc’s top returner is forward Makinde London averaged 6.0 points per game last season to go along with 3.5 rebounds per game. He led the team with 17 points against Francis Marion.

Guard Rodney Chatman averaged 5.3 points per game last season and added 2.1 rebounds. He had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds in their exhibition contest.

Fellow guard Makale Foreman added 3.1 points per game last season in 28 games. He poured in 16 points in the exhibition game.

About the Series

Friday’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools. The Pokes’ last meeting against a team from Tennessee was against UT Martin in the 2013-14 season opener.

Up Next

The Cowboys head to Oregon State on Monday for a showdown with the Beavers. The contest, which will be aired on Pac-12 Network is set for a 9 pm MT start.