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Gilmore hopes to break out of shooting slump

Mar 6, 2013 - The Associated Press

The long-term statistics are good for Derrious Gilmore.

The University of Wyoming senior point guard is fourth in the Mountain West Conference in 3-pointers made each game (2.17) and 3-point shooting percentage (35.4). His 63 3-pointers are the third-most in the league.

But Gilmore's recent stats are not so good. In the last three games, he is 4-for-38 from the field and 3-for-22 from behind the arc. He has scored just 13 points in those games. Before that, Gilmore scored in double figures in seven of the Cowboys' previous eight games.

"I am trying to stay confident in the shots I take," Gilmore said. "The shots that I take are shots I usually make. My focus is on the now and the next game. I am not too concerned about the past because there is nothing we can do to change that."

Gilmore hopes to break out of his shooting slump the last home game of his career as UW (18-11 overall, 4-11 MW) looks to snap a four-game losing streak when it hosts Border War rival Colorado State (22-7, 9-5) at 8 p.m. today at the Arena-Auditorium.

At 5-foot-10, Gilmore is one of the smallest guards in the MW, and it has been difficult for him to get good shots with guards as much as seven inches taller defending him.

And UW's perimeter game often depends on how its post players play, in particular senior forward Leonard Washington and sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. Washington is questionable today with a back injury, and results from a Tuesday MRI won't come back until today.

Nance is still recovering from a long illness from which he lost 16 pounds.

UW lost its best perimeter shooter in January when senior guard Luke Martinez was suspended after he was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault and battery.

Gilmore has filled in well with Martinez out, as has sophomore guard Riley Grabau at times. Grabau has made four 3-pointers in each of the past two games.

Still, UW is last in MW play in 3-point shooting percentage (29.5) and second-to-last overall in the league (31.8 percent). But that doesn't mean coach Larry Shyatt doesn't want his best perimeter scoring threats to not shoot when the opportunity is there.

"I continue to believe if we can get something early to Riley and Derrious, they need to get that shot up," he said. "It may be one of the better shots we get, along with something in the lane to Larry and Leonard.

"(Derrious) has probably put more pressure on himself as we've lost different guys throughout the year. But he still plays fearless and still plays with a passion. For that, I love having him."

So do Gilmore's teammates, and their confidence in his shooting hasn't waned.

"We all have confidence in Derrious, and when you are a shooter like he is you have to have the mindset that the next shot is going to go in," Washington said. "He definitely has that mindset."

Perhaps playing Colorado State is just what Gilmore needs to get going again.

He scored a career-high 26 points in the Cowboys' 65-46 loss last month in Fort Collins, and made 6 of 10 3-pointers.

The Rams, who have lost three of their past four games, have recently allowed some monster games from perimeter players.

In an 89-86 win at Air Force on Feb. 16, Falcons senior

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