Ramada Worldwide Bracketbusters
Game #25 -- Weber State (19-5) at Oral Roberts (17-10)
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 • 7:30 p.m. (CST)
Tulsa, OKla. • Mabee Center (11,300)
Radio: FM-106.9 “The Zone”
TV: GEB America & Fox College Sports
Online video: GEBAmerican.com or ORUGoldenEagles.com
Live stats: WeberStateSports.com
Series: series tied 2-2
Streak: Weber State 2 wins
In Tulsa: first meeting
• Riding a six-game winning streak the Weber State Wildcats will step out of Big Sky play to play at Oral Roberts Saturday night in Tulsa, Okla. as part of the Ramada Bracketbusters.
• The Wildcats are 19-5 overall and 14-2 in Big Sky play following Saturday’s 69-61 win over Montana State.
• Oral Roberts is 17-10 overall this season and is 12-3 in the Southland Conference.
• Weber State is seeking its 20th win this season, trying to win 20 games in five of the last seven years.
• WSU continues to lead the nation in field goal percentage at 51.3 percent.
• Davion Berry was named Big Sky Player of the Week last week.
• This will be the fifth meeting ever between Weber State and Oral Roberts but the first in more than 20 years and the first ever in Tulsa.
Saturday’s Ramada Bracketbusters game between the Wildcats and Golden Eagles will begin at 7:30 p.m. Central time (6:30 p.m. MST) from the Mabee Center in Tulsa.
The game will be televised live nationally by Golden Eagle Broadcasting, which is available on DirecTV channel 363. It will also be shown live on Fox College Sports. The game will also be streamed live through Golden Eagle Broadcasting at gebamerica.com or at orugoldeneagles.com. A link to the broadcast and live stats will also be available at WeberStateSports.com.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on FM-106.9 “The Zone” with Carl Arky, the 2011 Utah Sportscaster of the Year, calling the action. It can also be heard online at 1280thezone.com.
RAMADA BRACKETBUSTERS INFORMATION
Weber State and Oral Roberts are two of 122 teams participating in 11th annual Bracketbusters. This will be Weber State’s fourth game in the Bracketbusters. The Wildcats lost at Boise State in 2005 then lost at San Jose State in 2011. They defeated UT Arlington last year in Ogden. The Bracketbusters will be discontinued after this season.
All 11 Big Sky teams will take a break from league play to participate in the Bracketbusters this weekend. League-leading Montana will play at Davidson Saturday afternoon in a game televised on ESPNU.
WILDCATS BEAT BOBCATS FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT
Weber State never trailed and shot 64 percent from the field in route to winning its sixth straight game with a 69-61 win over Montana State last Saturday night at the Dee Events Center.
While the Wildcats never trailed, the Bobcats made it an interesting one. Weber State jumped out to a nine point lead midway through the first half but MSU rallied back and knocked down six three-pointers in the first half and cut the WSU lead to five at halftime.
Montana State cut the lead to three points at 40-37 with 17:00 to play when Weber State responded with a 15-2 run and held a 16-point lead with 10:00 remaining. The lead was never less than eight the rest of the way as the Wildcats won their ninth straight home game and their 17th straight Big Sky win at home.
Weber State ended the game shooting 64 percent from the field, the second-best of the season and the best against a Division I opponent. The Wildcats came into the game leading the nation in scoring and improved their percentage, now shooting 51.3 percent from the field.
Weber State also outrebounded MSU 27-26 and was 13-16 from the foul line. The ‘Cats did have 15 turnovers on the night. Montana State knocked down nine three-pointers, the most given up by the Wildcats this season.
DAVION BERRY NAMED BIG SKY CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After leading the Wildcats to three wins last week, Weber State junior Davion Berry has been named Big Sky Conference Co-Player of the Week. Berry, a 6-4 forward from Oakland, Calif., averaged 17.0 points, four assists, 3.3 rebounds and two steals per game in the three wins. Berry also shot 64.3 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range, and 76.9 percent from the free-throw line in three victories.
Berry opened with 14 points, three steals, two rebounds and an assist in Weber State’s 56-40 win over Idaho State on Monday night. Berry made 6-of-9 shots form the floor. In Thursday night’s 87-63 win over first-place Montana, Berry scored 16 points with six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Berry and the Wildcats halted Montana’s 14-game winning streak, and the Grizzlies’ conference record of 25 straight regular-season conference wins. On Saturday night in a 69-61 win over Montana State, Berry enjoyed a perfect shooting night en route to 21 points. Berry was 7-of-7 from the field – 3-of-3 from 3-point range, and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. He also had five assists, four rebounds and a blocked shot.
On the season Berry is fourth in the Big Sky in scoring at 14.9 points a game. He has scored in double figures in eight straight games.
JORDAN RICHARDSON RECORDS SEASON-HIGH
Weber State junior Jordan Richardson posted a season-high 16 points in Saturday’s win. The Lewisville, Texas native was 7-9 from the field, including 2-3 from three-point range. It was the fourth time this season Richardson has scored in double figures. He has started all 24 games for the Wildcats at point guard.
On the season Richardson is averaging 8.1 points and 3.0 assists per game, while shooting 48.6 percent from the field. He ranks second in the Big Sky in three-point field goal percentage at 45.6 percent and is fourth in the league in assist to turnover ratio.
WILDCATS LEAD THE NATION IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
After shooting 64 percent from the field in Saturday’s win, Weber State continues to lead the nation in field goal shooting at 51.3 percent. The Wildcats are one of three teams in the nation shooting better than 50 percent from the field and the only team shooting better than 51 percent. The Wildcats are shooting 54 percent from the field over the last eight games. Weber State is 18-2 this season when outshooting its opponent from the field. Thursday’s 64 percent was the second best percentage in a game this season and the best against a Division I team. The Wildcats are also third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 42.3 percent.
WILDCATS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Weber State ranks in the top 10 in the nation in four categories. In addition to field goal percentage and three-point percentage, WSU is also sixth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 27.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats are also eighth in the nation in scoring margin at +15.5. The ‘Cats are also 22nd in the nation in scoring offense.
Individually, Frank Otis ranks third in the nation in field goal percentage at 68.8 percent and Scott Bamforth is sixth in free throw percentage (.905).
WEBER STATE SEEKING 20 WINS
At 19-5 Weber State is one win away from reaching the 20 win mark for the 26th time in 51 seasons of Division I basketball. They are also seeking 20 wins for the fifth time in seven seasons under head coach Randy Rahe.
This season Weber State is 17-2 when leading at halftime and the Wildcats are a perfect 18-0 when outrebounding their opponents. The ‘Cats are also 18-4 when scoring at least 60 points in a game and are 9-0 when holding opponents under 60 points a game.
ABOUT ORAL ROBERTS
The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles come into Saturday’s Bracketbusters game with a 17-10 overall record. They are 12-3 in their first season in the Southland Conference.
Oral Roberts, an Interdenominational Christian school founded in 1963 in Tulsa, has an enrollment of 3,259 students. ORU has a strong basketball tradition and has appeared in five NCAA Tournaments, including trips in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and eight trips to the NIT.
This season the Golden Eagles are averaging 71.2 points per game and giving up 66.7 a contest. They are also shooting 46 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three-point range. ORU is 19th in the nation in free throw percentage at 74.6 percent.
ORU has just two seniors on this year’s team and is led by senior Warren Niles how is averaging 19.1 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. Senior center Damen Bell-Holter is averaging 16.3 points and is 18th in the nation in rebounding at 9.7 a game. He is also shooting 51 percent from the field. Shawn Glover is averaging 14.1 points a game.
The Golden Eagles are 9-3 at home this season and have won seven straight home games after dropping three of the first five home contests. In the latest RPI rankings Oral Roberts is 110 and Weber State is 111.
Oral Roberts was 27-7 last season and finished first in the Summit League with a 17-1 mark and advanced to the NIT.
HEAD COACH SCOTT SUTTON
The Golden Eagles are coached by Scott Sutton who is the all-time winningest coach in Oral Roberts history. Sutton is in his 14th season as head coach and has guided the Golden Eagles to a 267-172 career record. Since the start of the 2001-02 season, Sutton has guided the Eagles to a first or second place finish in the conference standings nine times. He has led Oral Roberts to six 20-win seasons, five conference titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances. Prior to becoming head coach he spent four seasons as an assistant coach at ORU. Sutton played basketball at Oklahoma State. He is the son of legendary college basketball coach Eddie Sutton.
This will be the fifth meeting ever between the two teams but the first in more than 20 years. The all-time series is tied at 2-2 and this will be the first meeting ever between the two teams in Tulsa.
The two teams first met in December 1973 in Oklahoma City with Oral Roberts winning 82-79. ORU won again the following season in Ogden but Weber State won the next season, 1975-76 in Ogden. The last meeting between the two teams was in December 1991 in Ogden with the Wildcats winning 115-80, in just the seventh game in Ron Abegglen’s career as head coach of the Wildcats.
WSU is 4-5 against teams currently in the Southland Conference.
AROUND THE BIG SKY
WSU is 14-2 in Big Sky play but has four games remaining in the new 20-game league schedule. The Wildcats have clinched at least second in the league standings but Montana remains in first place at 15-1. The ‘Cats will need Montana to lose one more game and win their remaining games to have a chance to win the league and host the conference tournament.
BIG SKY RANKINGS
The Wildcats lead the Big Sky in 10 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 defense, rebounding margin, and defensive rebounds.
Individually, Davion Berry ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 14.9 per game with Scott Bamforth 14th at 12.7. Freshman Joel Bolomboy is third in rebounding at 7.8 and, after his five blocks Saturday, ranks fourth in the league in blocks at 1.9 per game. Frank Otis leads the Big Sky in field goal percentage at .688. Bamforth leads the conference in free throw percentage at 90.5 percent. Jordan Richardson is third in 3-point field goal percentage and fourth in assist to turnover ratio.
50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
This season marks the 50th anniversary of Division I basketball at Weber State. The WSU Athletic Department and Wildcat Club are hosting a 50th anniversary celebration March 8-9 to honor the success of the Wildcat basketball program. The 50 Greatest Players from the past 50 years will also be named. Weber State has won 19 Big Sky titles and advanced to 14 NCAA Tournaments. WSU has the 23rd best winning percentage in the college basketball history.
For more information on the 50th anniversary celebration contact the Wildcat Club at 801-626-6576.
After Saturday’s Bracketbusters game the Wildcats will return to Big Sky action playing at Sacramento State Thursday and at Northern Arizona next Saturday. Their final two regular season games will be March 7 and 9 against Portland State and Eastern Washington.