Game #17 - Weber State (10-6, 7-1) at
Northern Arizona (8-11, 5-3)
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Flagstaff, Ariz. • Walkup Skydome (7,000)
Radio: KLO 1430 AM/103.1 FM
Online video: WatchBigSky.com
Live audio: WeberStateSports.com
Live stats: WeberStateSports.com
Twitter: @weberstate, @weberstatembb
Series: Weber State leads 72-26
Streak: Weber State 11 wins
In Flagstaff: Weber State leads 27-19
• After a four game homestand, Weber State now hits the road for eight of the final 12 Big Sky games beginning Thursday at Northern Arizona.
• Weber State is 10-6 overall and 7-1 in Big Sky play, tied for first with Northern Colorado in the league standings.
• WSU senior Davion Berry was named Big Sky Player of the Week after leading the Wildcats to three wins last week.
• Northern Arizona sits at 8-11 overall and 5-3 in Big Sky play.
• Weber State holds a 72-26 all-time series lead over the Lumberjacks and the Wildcats have won 11 straight games against NAU. Weber State has also won five straight games in Flagstaff.
Thursday’s game with the Lumberjacks will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff. The game will be broadcast live on KLO 1430 AM and 103.1 FM with Carl Arky calling all the action. It can also be heard online at kloradio.com.
It can also be seen online for free at WatchBigSky.com. Live stats will be available at WeberStateSports.com and nauathletics.com.
Thursday’s game will air tape delayed on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox College Sports Pacific.
WILDCATS END HOMESTAND WITH WIN OVER MONTANA
Weber State wrapped up a four-game homestand with a 68-63 win over Big Sky rival Montana Saturday night at the Dee Events Center.
The game saw 15 lead changes and the score was tied 11 times. The game was tied 50-50 with 9:19 to play, when the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run and would never look back. Montana cut the lead down to four points with 1:40 to play but Weber State was able to hold on for their fourth straight home win against the Grizzlies.
Weber State shot 46.9 percent from the field and held the Grizzlies to 42 percent shooting. WSU also outrebounded Montana 37-29 and dished out 15 assists. The win gives the Wildcats 24 straight Big Sky regular season home victories.
AROUND THE BIG SKY
Weber State and Northern Colorado remain tied for first in the Big Sky standings at 7-1 after eight league games. The two teams have a two-game lead over North Dakota and Northern Arizona who are both 5-3. Portland State, Montana State and Idaho State all sixth at 4-4. Like Weber State, Northern Colorado has played six of the first eight games at home. The Bears hit the road this week at Portland State and Eastern Washington before visiting Idaho State and Weber State next week.
BIG SKY RANKINGS
Weber State leads the Big Sky in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and assists. The ‘Cats also rank second in the league in scoring margin, three-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding and rebounding margin.
The Wildcats are sixth in scoring offense and rank third in field goal percentage, sixth in free throw percentage and sixth in three-point field goal percentage.
After playing six of the first eight games at home, Weber State now hits the road for eight of the final 12 Big Sky games. The Wildcats are just 1-5 on the road this season with their only win coming Jan. 11 at North Dakota.
Road wins in the Big Sky have been hard to come by this season. Through 44 conference games the home teams are 35-9.
HOME VS. ROAD
In the six road games this season Weber State is averaging 63.5 points per game, while giving up 74 per contest. The Wildcats are also shooting 41 percent from the field and holding opponents to 45.8 percent. They are being outrebounded by more than five rebounds per game.
On the other hand, in the 10 home games, the Wildcats are averaging 76.2 points and holding opponents to 58.4 points a game. WSU is also shooting 50.4 percent from the field, compared to 37.9 percent for its opponents and is outrebounding its opponents by nine rebounds a game.
DAVION BERRY EARNS BSC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
After leading the Weber State men’s basketball team to three victories last week, WSU senior Davion Berry has been named Big Sky Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.
In three home wins last week Berry averaged 24.3 points, 5.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting 55 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free throw line. He also knocked down 11 three-pointers during the week.
Berry had 23 points six assists and five rebounds in Monday’s 65-59 win over Idaho State. He was also 6-13 from the field, including 4-8 from three-point range, and was 7-8 from three-point range in the win. He followed that up on Thursday by tying his season-high with 25 points in an 86-57 win over Montana State. In that game Berry was 6-8 from the field and a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line to go along with seven assists and three rebounds.
He concluded the week with another 25 points in a 68-63 win over Montana Saturday night. Against the Grizzlies he was 9-17 from the field and knocked down four three-pointers, to go along with five rebounds and three steals.
Berry scored 98 points in WSU’s four game homestand, scoring 25 points three times. He has scored 20 or more points nine times this season. On the year the Oakland, Calif, native ranks fourth in the Big Sky in scoring at 17.9 points per game. He also leads the Wildcats in assists, steals, three-pointers, and assist to turnover ratio.
CAREER-HIGH 19 REBOUNDS FOR JOEL BOLOMBOY
WSU sophomore Joel Bolomboy continued his hot play with a career-high 19 rebounds in Saturday’s win over the Grizzlies. The 19 rebounds is the most by a player in the Big Sky this season and is the most by a Wildcat since Arturas Valeika had 20 rebounds in 2008. Bolomboy continues to lead the Big Sky and ranks eighth in the nation in rebounding at 10.7 per game. He has recorded double figures in rebounding 10 times this season and has done so in eight of the last nine games. In Big Sky games he is averaging 12.4 rebounds per game and is averaging 15.7 rebounds a game in the last three games. .
Bolomboy also scored 12 points in Saturday’s win for his fifth double-double of the season, the second most of any player in the conference this year. The Fort Worth, Texas native is averaging 8.3 points per game and shooting 47.8 percent from the field.
KYLE TRESNAK REACHES 100 CAREER BLOCKS
WSU senior Kyle Tresnak had 10 points and three blocked shots in WSU’s win over Montana Saturday. The three blocks gave the Scottsdale, Ariz., native 100 blocks in his four-year career at Weber State. He is the 25th player in Big Sky history to reach 100 career blocks and is now tied with Darin Mahoney for second on the WSU all-time list. Shawn Campbell is Weber State’s career leader in blocks with 133. He is second in the Big Sky in blocks at 1.9 per game.
Tresnak is also approaching another milestone as he has 482 career rebounds, leaving him 18 short of becoming the 27th player in WSU history to reach 500 career rebounds. Tresnak will also be the 16th player to record 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. He has played in 116 career games at Weber State.
Tresnak is averaging 10.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season and is shooting 55.1 percent from the field, fifth best in the Big Sky.
COACH RAHE LOOKS FOR 100TH BIG SKY WIN
Weber State head coach Randy Rahe is seeking his 100th career Big Sky victory. Rahe enters Thursday’s game with a career record of 99-25 in Big Sky regular season games. He will become the third coach in conference history to reach 100 career Big Sky victories. Former Montana State coach Mick Durham is the all-time leader with 123 Big Sky wins and Boise State coach Bobby Dye is second at 102. Rahe’s Big Sky winning percentage of .798 also ranks third all-time behind Weber State’s Phil Johnson (.886) and Idaho’s Kermit Davis (.813).
Rahe is 160-81 overall in his eighth season as head coach of the Wildcats. The 160 wins rank as the fifth most in league history. Rahe has led WSU to three Big Sky Championships and six post-season tournament appearances. He has also been named Big Sky Coach of the Year three times and has coached four Big Sky MVP’s, including All-American Damian Lillard, the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year with the Portland Trail Blazers. Rahe has led the Wildcats to 20 or more wins in five of seven seasons with the team and has won 25 or more games in each of the past two seasons, including a Big Sky record 30 wins in 2012-13.
Returning with Rahe on the coaching staff this season are associate head coach Eric Duft, and assistant coach Phil Beckner. New to the staff this season is assistant coach Kellen McCoy. McCoy is a former standout player at Weber State and was named the 2009 Big Sky MVP.
Garrett Lever is the Director of Basketball Operations.
ABOUT NORTHERN ARIZONA
Northern Arizona comes into this weekend with an 8-11 overall record and a 5-3 mark in Big Sky play, tied with North Dakota for third in the league standings. The Lumberjacks were 3-8 in the preseason but opened Big Sky play by stunning Montana in Missoula, snapping Montana’s 26-game Big Sky regular season winning streak. NAU then lost by two points at Montana State before winning four straight games. They are coming off back-to-back losses at Northern Colorado and North Dakota last week. The Lumberjacks are the only team in the league that has won two road games in conference play. NAU is 5-1 at home this season.
The Lumberjacks rank second in the Big Sky in free throw percentage and blocked shots and are fourth in field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, three-point percentage and rebounding margin. They are also fourth in scoring defense, allowing 69.2 points per game, but give up 68.3 a game, ninth best in the Big Sky.
NAU has been led by junior Quinton Upshur who is sixth in the conference in scoring at 15.5 points per game and ranks fourth in steals. Senior Max Jacobsen is 11th in scoring at 13.8 points per game and is second in the conference in field goal percentage at 59.9 percent. Junior Gaellan Bewernick leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 per game, and senior Len Springs leads the conference in blocks at 1.9 per game.
The Lumberjacks finished 11-21 overall last season and were 8-12 in Big Sky play, finishing seventh in the league standings. NAU was picked to finish ninth in the preseason coaches poll.
HEAD COACH JACK MURPHY
The Lumberjacks are coached by Jack Murphy who is in his second season at NAU. Murphy enters this week with a 19-32 overall record and is 13-15 in Big Sky play. Prior to coming to NAU, Murphy spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Memphis. He also spent eight years on the staff at Arizona and three years as an advanced scout for the Denver Nuggets.
Weber State holds a 72-26 all-time lead over Northern Arizona and the Wildcats have won 11 straight games against the Lumberjacks. The last NAU win came in the semifinals of the 2008 Big Sky Tournament. In games in Flagstaff, Weber State leads 27-19 all-time and the ‘Cats have won five straight games. The last loss in Flagstaff came during the 2007-08 season.
Weber State defeated the Lumberjacks three times last season, winning by 13 points in Ogden and then winning an 80-78 thrilling overtime game in Flagstaff. The ‘Cats trailed by seven points with 1:08 to play, but closed out regulation on an 11-4 run to force overtime. Davion Berry tied his then career-high with 25 points. He had eight of WSU’s 13 points in the last 1:22 of regulation to keep Weber State alive. The Wildcats also defeated the Lumberjacks 84-58 in the first round of last season Big Sky Tournament in Missoula.
WSU head coach Randy Rahe is 14-3 in his carer against NAU, including a 6-1 record in Flagstaff.
A LOOK BACK AT WSU’S RECORD-SETTING 2012-13 SEASON
Weber State is coming off one of the most memorable seasons in school and Big Sky history. The Wildcats set a school and conference record by posting 30 wins, finishing the year 30-7. WSU advanced to the championship game of the Collegeinsider.com Tournament, becoming the first team in Big Sky history to reach the championship game of a national postseason tournament.
The Wildcats finished second in the Big Sky standings, posting an 18-2 record in league play, and advanced to the Big Sky Championship game for the third time in the last four years. WSU has won 10 or more conference games for seven straight seasons, a Big Sky record.
Weber State finished the season first in the country in field goal percentage and first in three-point field goal percentage. The ‘Cats were also second in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense and finished the top 10 in the nation in six statistical categories.
WSU won a school record 17 home games and posted the best season attendance average in 17 years.
QUOTING WSU HEAD COACH RANDY RAHE
“There is not a game that is safe in this league, whether home or on the road. We have some confidence after our home wins and now have to go do it on the road. Every road game is going to be really tough in the league this year.”
After Thursday, Weber State will wrap up the first half of Big Sky play at Sacramento State on Saturday night. WSU will return home to host North Dakota and Northern Colorado next week.