Game #14 - Weber State (10-3, 5-0) at
Idaho State (3-11, 2-3)
Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 • 7:00 p.m.
Pocatello, Idaho • Holt Arena (8,000)
Radio: FM-1069.9 “The Zone”
Online video: bigskytv.org
Live stats: WeberStateSports.com
Series: Weber State leads 71-41
Streak: Idaho State 1 win
In Pocatello: Idaho State leads 27-24
Last season: series tied 1-1
• Riding a six-game winning streak the Weber State men’s basketball team is back on the road Monday night to take on Idaho State in Pocatello.
• The Wildcats are 10-3 overall and 5-0 in Big Sky play following Thursday’s 81-74 win at Southern Utah
• Idaho State is 3-11 overall and 2-3 in Big Sky play and has won two straight.
• The Wildcats have won six straight and nine of their last 10 games.
• This is the 113th meeting between Weber State and Idaho State and the Wildcats have won seven of the last eight over the Bengals.
Monday’s game with the Wildcats and Bengals will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Holt Arena in Pocatello. The game will be heard live on FM-106.9 “The Zone” with Carl Arky, the 2011 Utah Sportscaster of the Year, and Dutch Belnap calling the action. It can also be heard online at 1280thezone.com.
The game can be seen live online for free at bigskytv.org. Live stats are available at WeberStateSports.com.
WILDCATS BEAT SUU 81-74 FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN
Weber State won its sixth straight game and defeated in-state rival and new Big Sky member Southern Utah 81-74 Thursday night in Cedar City. Four Wildcats scored in double figures as the ‘Cats improved to 10-3 overall and 5-0 in Big Sky play. In a very physical game the two teams combined to shoot 76 free throws. Both teams struggled from the field in the first half with Southern Utah shooting 33 percent and Weber State shooting 29 percent. The Wildcats held a 30-29 advantage at halftime.
SUU retook the lead to start the second half and held a 38-37 advantage with 15:00 to play when Weber State responded with a 16-4 run over the next 5:21 and never trailed again. WSU led by as many as 15 in the second half and made 25 free throws in the second half to seal the win.
For the game the Wildcats were 36-49 from the free throw line, including 25-32 from the line in the second half. There were 59 fouls called in the game. Weber State shot 39 percent from the field and held SUU to 35 percent shooting.
CAREER-HIGH REBOUNDING NIGHT FOR JOEL BOLOMBOY
Weber State freshman Joel Bolomboy had 13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds in Thursday’s win at Southern Utah. The Fort Worth, Texas native was a perfect 3-3 from the field and 7-8 from the free throw line. His 17 rebounds is tied for the most of any player in the Big Sky this season. He also recorded three blocked shots and had one steal in the game. He had seven offensive and 10 defensive rebounds in the game.
He has reached double figures in rebounds in seven of WSU’s 13 games this season. He ranks second in the Big Sky in rebounds at 9.1 per game and is first in the league in rebounding in conference games at 10.8 per game. He also ranks fourth in the league in blocks at 1.7 per game.
SCOTT BAMFORTH ONE POINT AWAY FROM 1,000
WSU senior Scott Bamforth scored 17 points in Thursday’s win over the Thunderbirds. He was just 2-8 from the field but finished 13-14 from the free throw line, helping the Wildcats seal the victory down the stretch.
The 17 points left him with 999 career points, just one point away from becoming the 27th player in Weber State history to reach 1,000 career points. Bamforth also ranks fourth in school history with 184 career three-pointers.
On the season Bamforth is averaging 13.2 points per game and shooting 42 percent from three-point range, fifth best in the Big Sky. He has scored in double figures in five straight games, all Wildcat wins. He is now leading the conference in free throw percentage at 88.9 percent.
DAVION BERRY LEADS WILDCATS TO WIN
WSU junior Davion Berry led the Wildcats with 19 points and pulled down a career-high seven rebounds in Thursday’s victory. Berry was 4-11 from the field and knocked down 10-16 free throw attempts to go along with three assists and two steals.
This season has started all 13 games for the Wildcats this season and leads the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game, which ranks ninth in the Big Sky. He has scored in double figures eight times this year. He is also sixth in the conference in assists at 3.8 per game and is shooting 47 percent from the field, 13th best in the Big Sky.
ANOTHER DOUBLE FIGURES CAME FOR KYLE TRESNAK
WSU junior center Kyle Tresnak recorded 11 points on 4-10 shooting in Thursday’s win. Weber State improved to 8-0 this season in games when Tresnak scores in double figures and 1-3 when he does not score in double figures. He has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games. On the season Tresnak is averaging 11.4 points and 5.0 rebounds a game while shooting 54 percent from the field, seventh best in the Big Sky. He also ranks fifth in the conference in blocks at 1.5 a game.
Thursday’s game was the first of a stretch of six of eight games on the road for the Wildcats. WSU is now 4-2 on the road and 3-0 on the road in Big Sky games. They were 7-7 away from home last season, including a 6-2 conference record.
Weber State improved to 10-0 this season when outshooting its opponents and is 0-3 when trailing in field goal percentage. The Wildcats are also 8-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points in a game and they are 9-0 when outrebounding their opponent and 1-3 when trailing in rebounding. WSU is also 10-0 when leading in blocked shots and 0-3 when trailing in that category.
AROUND THE BIG SKY
Montana picked up road wins at North Dakota and Northern Colorado last week and improved to 6-0 in Big Sky play and on top of the league with Weber State 5-0 heading into Monday’s game.
BIG SKY RANKINGS
The Wildcats lead the Big Sky in 11 statistical categories. WSU is first in scoring offense, scoring defense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding margin, assists, assist to turnover ratio and defensive rebounds.
Individually, WSU Davion Berry ranks ninth in the conference in scoring at 13.5 points per game. Joel Bolomboy is second in rebounding at 9.1. Frank Otis is second in the Big Sky in field goal percentage at .623. Jordan Richardson is first in assist to turnover ratio and is second in three-point field goal percentage.
ABOUT IDAHO STATE
The Bengals of Idaho State enter Monday’s game with a 3-11 overall record but have won two straight games. Idaho State opened the season losing 10 of their first 11 games with the only win over NAIA Montana Western. They opened Big Sky play with losses at Portland State and Eastern Washington and a home loss to North Dakota. However, on Jan. 5 they defeated Northern Colorado 86-63 and then won 54-53 Saturday at Southern Utah.
ISU ranks second in the conference in scoring defense at 61.4 points per game. They are also fourth in steals and fifth in blocks and turnover margin. The Bengals rank last in the league and second worst in the nation in scoring offense at just 52.3 points per game. They are also last in the Big Sky in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, rebounding and assists and rank 10th in scoring margin.
Individually, Melvin Morgan leads the Bengals in scoring at 12.5 points per game. Thomas Sanchez is averaging 9.9 points and ranks fourth in the league in steals and seventh in assists. He scored 18 points in the win at Southern Utah Saturday.
Idaho State was 9-21 overall and 7-9 in the Big Sky last season, finishing tied for fifth in the league. They were picked to finish ninth in the preseason polls this season.
HEAD COACH BILL EVANS
Idaho State is coached by Bill Evans who is in his first season with the Bengals. Prior to coming to Idaho State Evans spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Montana. He was the head coach at his alma mater Southern Utah from 1992-2007 where he compiled a 209-223 record, leading the Thunderbirds to the NCAA Tournament in 2001. He has a career record of 212-234.
This will be the 113th meeting ever between the two longtime rivals. Weber State holds a 71-41 all-time lead over Idaho State and the Wildcats have won seven of the last eight and nine of the last 11 meetings. In games played in Pocatello Idaho State leads 27-24 all-time but the Wildcats have won three of the last four games. WSU head coach Randy Rahe is 9-3 in his career against the Bengals.
The two teams split the series last season with both teams winning at home. The Wildcats won 78-64 in the conference opener Dec. 29, 2011 in Ogden. Once again Damian Lillard led Weber State, finishing with 26 points. Scott Bamforth added 21 and Byron Fulton had 15 as the ‘Cats shot 52 percent from the field and held ISU to 38 percent shooting.
However, in Pocatello on Jan. 28 the Bengals shocked Weber State with a 64-62 win, giving WSU one of just two conference losses during the season. Kenny McGowen’s three-pointer at the buzzer gave Idaho State the two-point win and snapped Weber State’s 10-game winning streak. ISU led by four at halftime and as many as eight in the second half. WSU was just 12-19 from the free throw line, despite leading the nation in the category entering the game. Scott Bamforth led the ‘Cats with 17 points and Damian Lillard finished with just 15.
FOUR BIG SKY PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Weber State has received four different Big Sky Player of the Week honors this season. So far this season Kyle Tresnak, Davion Berry, Jordan Richardson and Scott Bamforth have each earned weekly conference Player of the Week awards this year.
After Monday’s game the Wildcats will be back home to host Northern Arizona and Sacramento State on Thursday and Saturday. After that Weber State will play the next four games on the road.