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UW MEN’S BASKETBALL

Wyoming men's basketball hosts Hastings College on Friday

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Hunter Maldonado at Grand Canyon

Wyoming's Hunter Maldonado and Grand Canyon's Sean Miller-Moore reach for a loose ball during their game Monday at GCU Arena in Phoenix. Maldonado scored a team-high 17 points in the Cowboys' 68-61 victory.

After two impressive road wins, the Wyoming men’s basketball team returns to the Arena-Auditorium to host Hastings College on Friday.

The Cowboys (4-0) are coming off victories at Washington (77-72 in overtime) on Nov. 18 and at Grand Canyon (68-61) on Monday. At GCU, senior Hunter Maldonado scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half and the Cowboys closed the game on an 8-0 run to hold off the ‘Lopes. Sophomores Graham Ike and Jeremiah Oden added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

The 6-foot-9, 252-pound Ike has been a force inside for UW through four games. He leads the team in scoring at 20.5 points per game and is tied with Maldonado with 7.3 rebounds per game.

The 6-7 Maldonado also averages 19.0 points and a team-leading 5.3 assists per contest. Oden averages 12.5 points per game and is shooting 69.0% from the field to lead the Mountain West.

UW is averaging 78.8 points per game, but it’s on the other end of the floor where the Cowboys have been most effective.

The Pokes are second in the nation in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 30.8S% and are No. 8 in 3-point defensive percentage as teams are shooting just 22.4% against them.

Hastings College is 6-3 on the season after pulling away in the second half for an 87-67 home win over Mount Marty University.

The Cowboys are back on the road Monday for a game at Cal State-Fullerton before returning home to face Denver on Dec. 2 and McNeese State on Dec. 4.

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Sports editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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