January 13, 2015

Scoring could be at a premium when Wyoming plays a rare game as a ranked team.

Seeking their best Mountain West start in 13 seasons, the No. 25 Cowboys face another one of the nation's best defensive squads in San Diego State on Wednesday night.

Wyoming (15-2, 4-0) entered Monday's AP Top 25 for the first time since March 15, 1988. The Cowboys were ranked 25th in the coaches' poll for one week in 2012-13.

Wyoming's success is largely a product of a stifling defense that's yielding 52.2 points on 39.8 percent shooting. The Cowboys held Boise State nearly 17 points under its season average in Saturday's 65-54 victory, their 13th in a row at home.

The program hasn't won 14 straight there since a record-tying 26-game streak from 1980-82. It will also seek its first 5-0 league start since 2001-02 - the last time in won the MWC.

"We talk more about let's not lose a game, let's have somebody have to beat us," coach Larry Shyatt said. "I don't know if they expect to win every game, but I don't think they expect to lose any."

The versatile Larry Nance Jr. has led the way for the Cowboys, averaging 22.2 points on 64.4 percent shooting and 8.0 rebounds in the last five games.

He might have some difficulty maintaining his scoring average when facing the Aztecs (12-4, 2-1), who are giving up 53.5 points per game on 36.6 percent shooting. San Diego State, though, has experienced issues at the other end of the floor shooting 40.3 percent and averaging 62.0 points.

Wyoming is one of the nation's best shooting teams at 50.4 percent but that hasn't translated into high-scoring games as it's averaging 64.1 points.

The Aztecs have gone 0-3 on the road this season, averaging 51.7 points on 33.9 percent shooting. One of those losses was in overtime to Cincinnati on Dec. 17 and another was a 59-57 defeat to Fresno State on Jan. 3.

San Diego State bounced back from that defeat with a 56-42 win over New Mexico on Jan. 6, holding the Lobos to 29.8 percent shooting. Leading scorer Winston Shepard (11.4 ppg) had season highs of 20 points and nine rebounds.

Despite being ranked in each of their last two games at Wyoming, the Aztecs dropped both. They were ranked fifth in last February's 68-62 loss at Wyoming - the only meeting last season.

"It's a big game for us, a big game for (Wyoming) since it's a home game and we're looking forward to it," San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. "I know our players will be excited and we will come out and play hard. Hopefully, we will make some shots and we'll have a chance to win."

The Cowboys' Riley Grabau scored a team-best 17 points in last season's win and matched a season high with 15 on Saturday. Wyoming guard Josh Adams is averaging 16.3 points in the last three games, nearly double his 9.9 from the first 14 contests.

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