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Poke Basketball Preview & Prediction: Denver Pioneers

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

What: Wyoming Cowboys vs. Denver Pioneers

When: Thursday, December 2nd, 2021, 7:00 p.m. MT

Where: Arena-Auditorium, Laramie, WY

Network: Mountain West Network

Line: Wyoming -20

Series: The Pokes and the Pios have met a total of eight times with Wyoming holding the series advantage 5-3. The last time the two teams met was during last season where the Pokes won the contest 83-61, in Laramie.

The Pokes will once again look to continue their winning ways when they face off with the Denver Pioneers in Laramie. Jeff Wulbrun will bring his group into Laramie following an overtime loss to 6-1 Utah Valley by a score of 77-68. The Pios have posted a 3-5 record over eight games so far this season.

Why the Pioneers will win:

The Pios are led by Junior Guard K.J. Hunt. Hunt is the leading scorer for the Pios, averaging 17.5 points per game while adding 4 rebounds and 4 assists per contest. Hunt is their primary offensive contributor. Over the past five contests, Hunt has either made or assisted upon 44% of all Denver’s made field goals. Denver holds victories over Regis University, IUPI, and Houston Baptist. They will have nothing to lose coming into this game and will need big contributions from Hunt along with other players like Sophomore Guard Jordan Johnson and Senior Forward Michael Henn, if they want to emerge victorious versus the surging Wyoming Cowboys.

Why the Cowboys will win:

Things have only been trending up so far for this year’s Cowboys squad. Jeff Linder’s group has started their season with a perfect 6-0 record while holding impressive wins over schools like Washington and GCU. Their most recent victory came in Fullerton, beating CSUF by a score of 79-66. The Pokes come into their game with Denver as an overwhelming favorite. Part of the reason for that is while the Cowboys have won each of their contests so far this season, the Pios have been losers of three straight road games, including their most recent at the hands of Utah Valley. Denver has also not shot particularly well away from home. If Wyoming can continue to play their style of basketball, limit mistakes and contain Hunt for the most part, they’ll win this matchup handily.


Denver is 0-5 this season when allowing more than 66 points in a game this season. Wyoming has not once scored under that mark. The potential for an upset is almost none, and while I do believe it to be true that any team can win a game at any given time, I don’t see Wyoming fumbling this bag with a chance to head into Arizona in about a week or so as an undefeated team. I’ll take the Pokes and the points.

Final Score:

Wyoming 89

Denver 61