Game #15 -- Northern Arizona (5-11, 2-4) at
Weber State (11-3, 6-0)
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 • 7:00 p.m.
Ogden, Utah • Dee Events Center (11,500)
Radio: AM-1280 “The Zone”
Online video: bigskytv.org
Live stats: WeberStateSports.com
Series: Weber State leads 69-26
Streak: Weber State 8 wins
In Ogden: Weber State leads 41-7
Last season: Weber State 2-0
• Riding a seven-game winning streak the Weber State men’s basketball team returns home to host Northern Arizona Thursday.
• The Wildcats are 11-3 overall and 6-0 in Big Sky play following Monday’s 70-54 win at Idaho State.
• Northern Arizona sits at 5-11 overall and 2-4 in league play and has lost tree straight and six of its last seven.
• The Wildcats have won seven straight and 10 of their last 11 games.
• WSU has won 30 of the last 32 games at home and 11 straight Big Sky games at the Dee Events Center.
• Scott Bamforth became the 27th Wildcat ever to reach 1,000 career points.
• This is the 96th meeting between WSU and NAU and the Wildcats hold a 69-26 all-time lead and have won eight straight games.
Thursday’s game with the Wildcats and Lumberjacks will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Dee Events Center. The game will be heard live on AM-1280 “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.
WSU WINS SEVENTH STRAIGHT 70-54 AT IDAHO STATE
Weber State won its seventh straight with a 70-54 victory over Idaho State Monday night in Holt Arena in Pocatello. WSU jumped out to a 12-5 lead early in the first half but Idaho State responded with an 11-5 run over the next four minutes and took a 17-16 lead with 9:36 to play. There were six lead changes in the first half and the ‘Cats held a 28-26 lead at the break.
After an ISU bucket to start the half tied the game at 28-28, WSU went on a 12-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 42-30 lead with 14:54 to play. Scott Bamforth had eight points in that stretch. Idaho State cut the lead to seven but Weber State quickly built the lead back up to 15 points at 52-37 with 10:38 to play. Idaho State didn’t get closer than 10 points the rest of the way and the Wildcats led by as many as 16 in the second half.
Weber State shot 55.8 percent from the field and held Idaho State to 39 percent shooting. The Wildcats also outrebounded Idaho State 33-20. WSU was 10-20 from three-point land, while ISU was 2-10 from beyond the arc. WSU was also 12-15 from the free throw line. The Wildcats did commit 15 turnovers on the night.
WILDCATS OFF TO 6-0 BIG SKY START
For the second-straight season Weber State is off to a 6-0 start in Big Sky Conference play and it marks the sixth time in school history Weber State has started conference play 6-0. The Wildcats were also 11-3 overall after 14 games last season. WSU finished 25-7 overall and 14-2 in Big Sky play last year.
SCOTT BAMFORTH REACHES CAREER MILESTONE
WSU senior Scott Bamforth scored 17 points, all in the second half, in Monday’s 70-54 win at Idaho State. He was 5-9 from the field and 3-6 from three-point range in leading the Wildcats to the victory. He also reached a milestone in the win, becoming the 27th player in Weber State history to reach 1,000 career points. Bamforth now ranks 25th in school history in career points with 1,016. He also ranks fourth in school history with 187 career three-pointers. On the season Bamforth is averaging 13.4 points per game and shooting 42 percent from three-point range, fifth best in the Big Sky. He has scored in double figures in six straight games, all Wildcat wins. WSU is 10-1 when Bamforth scores in double figures and 1-2 when he does not. He leads the BSC in free throw percentage at 89.8 percent.
DAVION BERRY SCORES 16 IN VICTORY
While Bamforth got going in the second half in Monday’s win, it was Davion Berry who lead Weber State in the first half. Berry had 12 points in the first half to help WSU to a 28-26 halftime lead. He finished the night with 16 points on 4-9 shooting and was 3-6 from three-point land. He also added three rebounds and two assists.
This season the Oakland, Calif., native has started all 14 games for the Wildcats this season and leads the team in scoring at 13.7 points per game, which ranks ninth in the Big Sky. He has scored in double figures nine times this year. He is also seventh in the conference in assists at 3.7 per game and is shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 13th best in the Big Sky.
KYLE TRESNAK LEADS WILDCATS WITH NINE REBOUNDS
WSU junior center Kyle Tresnak tied his season-high with nine rebounds in Monday’s victory. He also had eight points on 3-4 shooting and was 2-3 from the free throw line. It marked the first time Tresnak did not score in double figures and Weber State won the game. The ‘Cats are now 8-0 this season when he reaches double figures and 2-3 when he does not.
On the year Tresnak is averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent from the field, fifth best in the Big Sky. He is also fifth in the league in blocks at 1.5 per game.
Weber State improved to 11-0 this season when outshooting its opponents and is 0-3 when trailing in field goal percentage. The Wildcats are also 9-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points in a game and they are 10-0 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.
HOME COURT DOMINATION
After two road games, Weber State returns to the Dee Events Center where it has now won three straight, 23 of the last 24 and 30 of the last 32 games. WSU also has an 11-game home winning streak in Big Sky games. Over the last three seasons the Wildcats are 33-3 at the Dee Events Center. In the seven seasons under Coach Randy Rahe the Wildcats are 81-12 in home games, including a 46-4 home record in Big Sky regular season games.
FAN PROMOTIONS FOR THURSDAY
This Thursday’s game is Military Appreciation Night. The halftime will be the Weber State Drumline. Fans can get five tickets to the game for just $35.00. In addition bring a pair of shoes to donate to charity and get 2-for-1 admission.
AROUND THE BIG SKY
Just like last season, the Big Sky appears to be a two-team race. Weber State and Montana both enter this week with perfect 6-0 records in conference play. There are four teams at 3-3 in the standings. Montana is home to Southern Utah and Montana State this week.
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 13.7 points per game. Joel Bolomboy is second in rebounding at 8.8. Frank Otis is second in the Big Sky in field goal percentage at .635. Jordan Richardson is first in assist to turnover ratio and is second in three-point field goal percentage.
ABOUT NORTHERN ARIZONA
Northern Arizona enters Thursday’s game with a 5-11 overall record and a 2-4 mark in Big Sky play. The Lumberjacks have lost three straight games and six of their last seven games. They started Big Sky play 2-1 after wins over Montana State and Sacramento State and a loss to Montana. However, since then they have lost three straight, falling to Southern Utah and at Eastern Washington and Portland State.
The ‘Jacks are last in the league in scoring defense at 77.4 points per game. They are also 11th scoring margin and three-point field goal percentage defense and 10th in rebounding margin. NAU does rank second in the conference in assists and steals. They are led this season by freshman DeWayne Russell who leads the Big Sky in scoring at 16.2 points per game. Gabe Rogers is sixth at 14.4. Salt Lake City native and Judge Memorial High School graduate Stallon Saldivar is fifth in the conference in assists at 3.9 per game and ranks seventh in steals.
NAU finished 5-24 overall last season and were last in the Big Sky at 1-15. They were picked to finish last again this season in the preseason polls.
HEAD COACH JACK MURPHY
The Lumberjacks are coached by Jack Murphy who is in his first season with the team. At age 33, Murphy is one of the youngest coaches in the nation. Prior to coming to NAU Murphy spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis. Prior to that he spent three seasons as an advanced scout with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA. He began his coaching career spending eight seasons on the staff of his alma mater Arizona.
Weber State holds a 69-26 all-time series advantage of Northern Arizona and the Wildcats have won eight straight games. In games played in Ogden WSU leads 41-7 all-time and have won four straight and six of the last seven.
Weber State swept the season series over the Lumberjacks last season. The ‘Cats won 81-67 Jan. 19 in Ogden behind a career-high 22 points from Kyle Tresnak. All-American Damian Lillard finished with 18 points. Frank Otis added 12 points on 5-5 shooting and Jordan Richardson added 10. The Wildcats shot 56 percent from the field.
WSU followed that up with a 67-49 win over NAU on Feb. 9 in Flagstaff. Lillard scored 18 points once again to lead Weber State. Kyle Bullinger added 16 and Byron Fulton had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Weber State shot 45 percent from the field and held NAU to 31 percent shooting.
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 Thursday’s game Weber State will host Sacramento State Saturday night at the Dee Events Center. WSU will then play four straight games on the road, heading to Montana State, Montana, North Dakota and Northern Colorado.