What: Wyoming Cowboys at Grand Canyon Antelopes
When: Monday, November 22, 2021, 7:00 p.m. M.T.
Where: GCU Arena, Phoenix, AZ
How to watch: ESPN+
Line: Wyoming +3 (via William Hill)
The Wyoming men’s basketball team will look to continue their undefeated season this evening against the also undefeated Grand Canyon Lopes.
GCU presents a unique challenge to this Wyoming team that has looked very good to begin the year. Wyoming is coming off of an impressive victory over the PAC-12 Washington Huskies 77-72, while GCU is coming into this one following a dominating victory over Praire View by a score of 91-64. The two teams have a lot of contrasting similarities which will set this one up to be a close contest.
Why the Lopes will win:
Grand Canyon is a team that has scored 76.4 points in their last three games at home. They are led by their Seniors Gabe McGlothan, Holland Woods, and Sean Miller-Moore. These three players have each been huge contributors for the Lopes so far this season, combining for about 40% of the team’s point total. Junior G Jovan Blacksher Jr. leads the team, averaging 13.3 points per game. The team also shoots well. The Antelopes have shot an extremely impressive 49% from the field, ranking them in the top 15 in the country. They also have been hitting often from three-point range, shooting at a very high clip. GCU’s defensive play has also garnered attention, as they have held opponents to under 60 points in two out of their three contests so far. If GCU can sustain those types of numbers against a bigger conference team while keeping up the defensive intensity, backed by their Senior leadership, they will have a chance to win the game Monday night.
Why the Cowboys will win:
The Wyoming Cowboys will stay on the road and travel South to try and continue their win streak. They’re coming off an impressive victory against a PAC-12 team, meaning that their competition level has already been ramped up. GCU has yet to play a team of major significance, so the victory over Washington last week should help their chances this week. Hunter Maldonado and Graham Ike have been consistent difference makers in their three games so far. Against Washington, Maldonado finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Ike finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds on 11-19 shooting. The team also has similar splits to that of GCU. They are still averaging around 80 points per game while shooting an efficient floor percentage.
With both teams playing at a very high level, this game could become a close result. The Cowboys have had the tougher road thus far having beaten the better ranking teams, including the Washington Huskies in a hostile environment. The Antelopes on the other hand are a team that has yet to face much adversity at all this season, leaving their ability to handle adversity so far this season up in the air. While I don’t expect it to be easy, the Cowboys have given me no reason to bet against them, so I’ll take them in a close contest.
Grand Canyon 71