“Welcome. To the Dome of Doom.”
Those are some of the first words that greet opposing teams that come to Laramie. And recently, the Dome has been living up to its name.
We’re a little over halfway through the season and your Wyoming Cowboys have beaten the best three teams (according to KenPom rankings) in the conference, all at home. You have to earn a win when you come to Laramie.
Both of the basketball teams in Laramie look like they’re getting things together pretty well. Not only are the men starting to gel and working out the kinks, but the women are currently leading the conference at 13-5 (6-1), a full game clear of UNLV.
Not only has Liv Roberts rebounded nicely from her ACL tear last year, but the Cowgirls are 9th in the country in scoring defense. They’re ahead of every single ranked team in the nation, UConn included, except Baylor.
Think about that for a second. There’s a team right here in Laramie, Wyoming, that is better at something than Geno Auriemma’s Huskies.
This is an incredibly special group of women competing in a conference that I don’t really think a lot of people expected them to compete in. I could be wrong though. And honestly, if you don’t go watch the Cowgirls at least once this season, it’s your own dang fault.
Meanwhile, the men’s team toppled the 23rd ranked team in the nation late Wednesday night (a game that I fully intended on going to except I have class then and come on who wants to go to a 9 pm tipoff on a Wednesday??).
It was a shootout of a game that featured 207 total points, 138 attempted field goals, 59 attempted threes, and a combined free throw percentage of 80% on the dot.
Wyoming’s leading scorer, Justin James, didn’t even play the entire game, fouling out during the first overtime. James finished with 33 points.
After James’ early exit, Lou Adams stepped up in his place, scoring seven of his 17 points after regulation.
And, luckily for the Cowboys, Hayden Dalton and James managed to have a good game at the same time!
Dalton dropped 25 points in his 46 minutes of play. He also managed to snag nine rebounds and dish out four assists.
Dalton has also been receiving an interesting amount of attention regarding the NBA Draft. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo has him as one of his three players to watch, describing him as a “somewhat anonymous prospect.”
At this point, I doubt Hayden gets drafted. I don’t think he has the national recognition that Larry Nance Jr. did, but it’s still an interesting thing to think about.
The Wyoming men and women look to defend their winning streaks against San Jose State on Saturday at 3 pm and 2 pm, respectively.