Here's a more in-depth look at Wyoming, the Falcons' opponent Thursday, Dec. 29, in Laramie, Wy. ...
OVERVIEW: The Cowgirls of coach Joe Legerski enter this contest with a 4-7 record but have won three of their last four overall, including the last two home contests. Last season Wyoming finished with a 24-9 record, including a 12-4 mark in the Mountain West Conference. The Cowgirls advanced to the Women's NIT last season, reaching the third round before losing in the third round. This season Wyoming, which lost four starters and six letterwinners from last season, were picked to tie for fifth place in the MWC in a pre-season league poll.
ALL-TIME MEETINGS: This is the first meeting of the two schools.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Cowgirls are led by junior forward Ashley Sickles, who averages 13.9 points per game. Sickles shoots 51.8 percent from the field and also averages 6.3 rebounds per game; she also has a team-high 11 blocked shots. ... Junior forward Chaundra Sewell is second on the team in scoring with 12.1 points per game and leads the team with 9.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest. Sewell averages better than four offensive rebounds per game. ... Freshman guard Kaitlyn Mileto also is in double figures in scoring with 10.4 ppg. She leads Wyoming with 18 3-pointers made. ... Freshman forward Kayla Woodward averages 8.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Woodward also has made 13 3-pointers, second-most on the team. ... Sophomore guard Chelan Landry is the Cowgirls' typical fifth starter, averaging 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game while adding 2.2 assists per game. ... Wyoming is shooting just 37.6 percent from the field, a number that is weighed down by 23.3 percent shooting on 3-point attempts. The Cowgirls even struggle from the foul line, connected on just 65.9 percent of their attempts. ... Wyoming's opponents are shooting better, but not by a lot, making 40.6 percent of their field goals and 34.0 percent of their 3-pointers. ... The Cowgirls are a tall team, with all five starters standing at least 5-9 -- in fact, the 5-9 Landry is the shortest person on the team. Still, Wyoming is being outrebounded by a narrow 36.5-36.4 margin. ... The turnover margin is just as close, as Wyoming has 138 turnovers and its opponents have 137.
BG KEYS TO VICTORY: 1. Keep your eyes on the prize. Both teams have struggled to shoot well from the field this season. Taking -- and making -- good shots, especially from the arc, will be important to BG, as will forcing missing from the Cowgirls, especially if it can sew the seeds of doubt for their offense. 2. Hit the boards. While Wyoming doesn't have impressive rebounding numbers, their overall team size is impressive. Rebounding must be an entire-team effort for the Falcons. 3. The best of the Rockies is yours. Playing at altitude won't be easy, since the "thin" air can fatigue a team. The entire BG roster must be ready for extended playing time, and don't be surprised if coach Curt Miller goes for frequent lineup changes and shorter "shifts" on the court.
GAME NOTES: Tipoff is at 9 p.m. local time. ... This game will not be televised but can be heard on 88.1 FM. … The Falcons are 2-2 on the road this season, while Wyoming is 3-3 at home. ... The next game for BG is on the road as the Falcons play at Colorado State on Saturday, Dec. 31. ... The next contest for BG at the Stroh Center is in the Falcons' Mid-American Conference opener against Kent State on Wednesday, Jan. 4 starting at 7 p.m.