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Wyoming at San Diego State preview: Cowboys, Aztecs to battle for first place in Mountain West

Wyoming and San Diego State will square off for first place in the conference Wednesday, but it's unknown if the Pokes will have their best player dressed for the game.

Wyoming hopes to beat San Diego State after falling to the Aztecs earlier this season.
Wyoming hopes to beat San Diego State after falling to the Aztecs earlier this season.
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Wyoming (19-5) and San Diego State (18-6) each suffered setbacks last week. Now the two will face each other in a Mountain West game Saturday that could likely determine which team wins the conference title.

Both enter with 8-3 conference records and tied for first in the standings. The winner of this matchup, hosted by SDSU, will leave in sole possession of first place.

Wyoming lost to Air Force last week after Larry Nance Jr and Alan Herndon each missed the game with mononucleosis. Nance is officially out for another game and Hendon made the trip and is expected to play.

Nance was listed as day-to-day by coach Larry Shyatt and nearly played against the Falcons in a limited role Saturday. Without Nance, the Cowboys have struggled and will need someone else to step up with the preseason Mountain West player of the year out.

Josh Adams led Wyoming with 11 points in Nance's absence. The team will need a helping from Adams as well as Derek Cooke Jr (averaging eight points, five rebounds) and Riley Grabau (eight points, two assists) if Nance can't dress again.

SDSU lost last week to a Boise State squad that has surprised a few teams this season. A win over the Broncos would have made Wednesday's game less meaningful. That isn't the case now.

Aqueel Quinn and Winston Shepard lead the Aztecs by averaging over 10 points per game, while JJ O'Brien is fresh off a double-double effort against the Broncos (16 points, 10 rebounds). SDSU will have plenty of talent at its disposal but may not need it if Wyoming's roster is without Nance.

Wyoming faces tough odds in Viejas Arena as well. The Pokes haven't won there since 2007 and are 11-22 all-time in San Diego. Their Mountain West title hopes will rely on them snapping a six-game losing streak at SDSU.