MWC/MVC Chal­lenge

Jay Dee Lus­ter looks for an open­ing as he flies towards the bas­ket. (Jere­my Stegall/LFP)

Wyoming faced Indi­ana State in the Moun­tain West Conference/Missouri Val­ley Con­fer­ence Chal­lenge. The Cow­boys just came off of a three game los­ing streak on the road and was ready to get some­thing going. Both of these teams are off to a slow start this year. At the end of the game Wyoming got the much need­ed win. They end­ed up tak­ing charge of the game hand­ing Indi­ana State an 81–51 loss. This win put both teams at 3–5 on the sea­son.

Wyoming had a slow start in this game but even­tu­al­ly got it going. This was an aggres­sive game; evi­dence of this comes from the fact that the first four points scored came at the free throw line. The Cow­boys tied the game at four but then Indi­an State went on a small run. Wyoming respond­ed to the 0–6 run by going on a 9–2 run. With 11:20 left in the first half Afam hit a three point shot giv­ing the Cow­boys a lead that would only get larg­er. After that bas­ket the Wyoming nev­er gave up the lead.

The Cow­boys have been work­ing on a zone defense that they used tonight. This new defense seemed to work well for Wyoming; it held the oppo­nent to only 51 points. The play­ers were reluc­tant to say any­thing about this crazy new defense. They do not want its secrets to get out, the less oppo­nents know the bet­ter it will work. Head coach Heath Schroy­er chose not to say much about it either. He said they used it longer tonight than they had planned on using it. He said he has used it before at oth­er schools and hopes it will work here. No mat­ter what they are will­ing to say it works. Wyoming came up with 16 steals and scored 32 points off of 22 turnovers.

The points off of turnovers shows the defense paid off. They were able to con­vert turnovers into points which was impor­tant to this win. The Cow­boys were led by Demar Jack­son with 17 points but there was enough points to go around. Five Cow­boy play­ers post­ed dou­ble dig­it point totals. Not only could they score but they could pass also. Wyoming had 11 assists and only gave up one steal. They shot the ball real­ly well going 50% from the field, 33.3% from three point range and 75% from the free throw line. If they can keep up this team work and con­tin­ue to shoot this well they could real­ly turn the sea­son around.

They all know they still have work to do. Even though they looked good tonight there is still room for improve­ment. After the game Afam Muo­jeke said, “We have go to bring it every game, we can’t just do it a home.” They play well at home but for some rea­son they strug­gle on the road. If they can fig­ure out how to take this kind of play­ing on the road they could be a scary team. Schroy­er agrees with this say­ing, “We need to go out and fig­ure out how to win a road game.” He knows they have the skill to win big games he just needs to fig­ure out how to uti­lize this tal­ent on the road. Anoth­er prob­lem Schroy­er found was rebound­ing. He made a num­ber of com­ments on how they need to rebound the ball bet­ter. They were out rebound­ed 30–40 in this game. They had a few balls that hit their hands but they could not hold on to. Schroy­er wants to work on this so the team does not lose the rebound bat­tle.