B1 SECOND PHOTO: Cowboys basketball-Maldonado (copy)

University of Wyoming sophomore guard Hunter Maldonado, right, and freshman guard Kenny Foster, center, defend UNLV sophomore guard Marvin Coleman during a January game at Arena-Auditorium.

LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming along with the Mountain West conference released the updated 2020-21 conference basketball schedule for men and women’s basketball on Tuesday morning. The new format emphasizes the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff while significantly reducing travel, according to a press release.

COWBOY BASKETBALL

The conference has moved to a 20-game schedule under a modified format that will play out over 11 weeks within the context of state, county and local guidelines.

League play will begin with one two-game series taking place before Christmas for all 11 teams. After a short break, conference action will resume on Dec. 28 and conclude March 1.

In the new format, Mountain West teams will face each other in a two-game series in the same week with a one-day break between contests. Each institution will have five home and five road series, reducing the regular season travel schedule by four weeks to help mitigate potential virus exposures.

This is a one-year model adopted specifically to address the unique challenges of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Wyoming opens conference play on Sunday, Dec. 20, and Tuesday, Dec. 22, against UNLV inside the Arena-Auditorium. It will mark back-to-back seasons that the Cowboys have opened conference play prior to Christmas.

Other home contests for the Pokes include hosting Boise State on Monday, Jan. 11, and Wednesday, Jan. 13. Wyoming will also host Nevada in the Month on January on the Friday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 24.

In February, the Cowboys host Colorado State on Thursday, Feb. 4, and Saturday, Feb. 6. Wyoming will close out the regular season hosting San Jose State on Thursday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 27.

The Cowboys road schedule opens at Fresno State on Saturday, January 2 and Monday, January 4. Wyoming will also head to Air Force (January 16 and 18), San Diego State (January 28 and 30), Utah State (February 11 and 13) and New Mexico (February 17 and 19).

Mountain West national television partners CBS Sports and FOX Sports will now initiate a selection procedure, which will include the shifting of games from their current dates. Additional announcements on television selections will be made soon.

COWGIRL BASKETBALL

With the release of the 2020-21 Mountain West schedule, the women’s basketball team announced its schedule for the upcoming season. The slate will feature 12 games at the Arena-Auditorium.

The amended conference schedule features 20 league games and will see MW teams face each other in a two-game series in the same week, with a one-day break between contests. Both games against the opponent will be played at the same site.

The Cowgirls open the season Dec. 5 at home against Denver before hosting Gonzaga on Dec. 8 in the two nonconference contests for the Cowgirls. UW closes its nonconference slate Dec. 20 with a trip to face Northern Colorado. UW’s nonconference schedule is subject to change still.

Wyoming opens league play with a Dec. 12 and 14 trip to UNLV. UNLV defeated the Cowgirls 65-53 last season in the only meeting between the two schools. The Cowgirls’ home Mountain West opener will also open the New Year as UW welcomes defending Mountain West champion Fresno State for a Jan. 2 and 4 series.

On Jan. 11 and 13, UW will make the trip to Boise State to face the Broncos. The Cowgirls and BSU met three times last season including at the conference tournament. On Jan. 16 and 18, Air Force comes to Laramie for a two-game series.

In the latter parts of January, UW travels to play Nevada on Jan. 22 and 24. The Cowgirls swept the season series with the Wolf Pack last season. San Diego State comes to town to close the month of January as the Cowgirls and Aztecs will meet Jan. 28 and 30. Next, the Cowgirls will face border rival Colorado State down in Fort Collins February 4 and 6. The two rivals split their two meetings last season, with each winning on the other’s home court.

The Cowgirls will host back-to-back home series to close out their 2020-21 home slate. Utah State comes to the AA for a Feb. 11 and 13 series, while New Mexico and Wyoming will face-off Feb. 17 and 19. To close the regular season, the Cowgirls will travel to play San Jose State Feb. 25 and 27.

ABOUT TICKETS

Tickets are expected to go on sale for the general public Monday afternoon, Nov. 23. Season ticket holders can expect to receive an email about pre-sale information within the next couple of days.

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