After a win over Texas Christian University on Wednesday night, the Rams have gained some much needed momentum as they travel to Laramie this weekend to take on Wyoming.
The last time the Rams (13-12 3-10) met the Cowboys was in late January, with Wyoming coming into Moby and winning 72-67, giving the Rams their first loss at home of the season.
The Cowboys (12-14, 5-8) have struggled since their trip down to Fort Collins. In the last seven games, Wyoming has managed only one win. Before their home loss to BYU last weekend, the Cowboys had two heart breaking road losses to Air Force by one point, and New Mexico by two points.
Wyoming does have a bright spot in the front court. Freshman guard Brandon Ewing is averaging 12.2 points per game which is second to all freshmen in the conference. In their last game, Ewing scored 25 points which broke the MWC freshmen scoring record. Ewing now has 200 points this year, which broke former Utah Ute Andrew Bogut record of 182 points.
As of late, the Rams have played better on the defensive side of the ball. The improved play of junior Freddy Robinson has given the Rams the energy they need. Robinson scored 51 points in the last four games, with a season most 16 against TCU.
"The last two games we have played a lot better on defense," coach Dale Layer said. "But, we got to continue to build on our defensive effort."
Sophomore forward Jason Smith continues to lead the Rams on the offensive side of the court, averaging 17.2 points per game, which ranks him second in the conference, and 7.4 rebounds.
"We just need to keep doing everything we're already doing," Smith said. "Play tough with hard-nosed defense."
The key match up in the game might be the match up between Smith and Wyoming forward Justin Williams. Williams is averaging a double-double this year, with 11.1 points and 11.1 rebounds a game.
The last time these two teams played, Williams had eight rebounds and 12 points.
If the Rams can steal a win up in Laramie, they will be one game closer to the Cowboys in the conference standings. If the Rams can pass the Cowboys, it will keep them out of the play-in game in the conference tournament.
"When you go up to Arena Auditorium, you got to bring big hearts and a big effort to get a win," Layer said.
Game time is set for 8 p.m. at the Arena Auditorium up in Laramie, Wyo. The game can also be seen on ESPN 2.
"We just got to fight, take it practice by practice and game by game," Robinson said.