The Wyoming Cowboys will take part in their first CBI Championship series starting tonight against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The game starts at 5:30 p.m., MT.

The CBI best-of-three series begins in Conway, SC at the HTC Center on the CCU campus. You can watch the game on ESPNU or listen on FM 95.1 in Laramie.

Tonight’s game marks the first ever meeting between the two schools in basketball.

Cowboys head coach Allen Edwards knows the Chanticleers play with a four-guard line-up. Thus, he says this may be a game for Jordan Naughton inside.

“In a sense of creating a post presence, but also trying to go inside a little bit more with Al (Herndon) and HD (Hayden Dalton). Their guards are a little smaller, maybe even JJ (Justin James inside), but I think we’ve got to be able to use our length and our athleticism and still play in an up-tempo style.”

Wyoming (21-14) has topped Eastern Washington, UMKC and Utah Valley to reach the CBI finals series.

Coastal Carolina (19-17) defeated Hampton, Loyola (MD) and UIC to get to this point.

The Cowboys are led by sophomore Justin James. He averages 15.9 points per game and is shooting 46 percent from the field. James is one of four UW players in double figures. Junior Hayden Dalton chips in 12.3 points and team-best 8.3 rebounds per game. Senior Jason McManamen (11.3) and junior Alan Herndon (11.2) also score double digits per game. As a team, the Pokes average 77.6 points per game and allow 75 per game. They have held their last two opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field.

The Chanticleers are led by junior Jaylen Shaw, who scores at 14.7 per game and dishes out 3.7 assists per game. Their other double figure scorer is senior Elijah Wilson. He adds 13.3 points per game. Junior Demario Beck is their leading rebounder at 8 per game and also scores at 9.8 per game. CCU is scoring 72.9 points per game, but gives-up 72.6 points per game.

By statistical comparison, Wyoming has an edge in numerous categories except for rebounding and steals. Coastal Carolina has a 40.4-to-38.1 edge on the glass and a 6-to-5.3 advantage in steals. Both teams average 13.3 turnovers per game.

One contrast is in coaching. Allen Edwards is in his first year (21-14) at UW, while Cliff Ellis is in his 10th season (180-110) with the Chanticleers.

Edwards also doesn’t mind being in South Carolina for this first one.

“I think this is good with it being on the road. You know, we’ve done a great job at home. We’ve struggled on the road, so it’ll be another good opportunity and experience for this group.”

After tonight’s first game, the series will shift to Laramie for game two on Wednesday night at 7 p.m., MT. Should the CBI Finals need a third game, it will also be in Laramie Friday at 5 p.m., MT.

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