Game #23 - Weber State (14-8, 11-3) at
Montana (12-11, 7-7)
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 • 7:00 p.m.
Missoula Mont. • Dahlberg Arena (7,321)
Radio: KLO 1430 AM/103.1 FM
Online video: WatchBigSky.com | Watch Big Sky App
Live audio: WeberStateSports.com
Live stats: gogriz.com/WeberStateSports.com
Twitter: @weberstate, @weberstatembb
Series: Weber State leads 66-52
Streak: Weber State 1 win
In Missoula: Montana leads 33-22
This season: 01/25/14 - OGDEN - WSU 68, UM 63
• The first place Wildcats continue their four-game road trip at Big Sky rival Montana Thursday night.
• The Wildcats are 14-8 overall and 11-3 in Big Sky play following Monday’s 78-75 overtime loss at Idaho State. The Wildcats are in first place with a two-game lead over Northern Colorado in the conference standings with six games remaining.
• Montana sits at 12-11 overall and 7-7 in Big Sky play. The Grizzlies are currently in a five-way tie for fifth in the league standings.
• Weber State holds a 66-52 all-time series lead over Montana but the Grizzlies have won the last six games against the Wildcats in Missoula.
Thursday’s game with the Grizzlies will begin at 7 p.m. from Dahlberg Arena in Missoula. 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 and the Watch Big Sky app. Live stats will be available at WeberStateSports.com and gogriz.com.
WILDCATS FALL IN OVERTIME AT IDAHO STATE
Idaho State knocked off Weber State 78-75 in overtime Monday night at Holt Arena. The game saw 16 ties and 18 lead changes. It was tied 75-75 with 1:29 to play when Chris Hansen knocked down a long 3-pointer to give the Bengals the 78-75 lead. The ‘Cats had three shots in the final stretch but could not convert, giving ISU the win.
Idaho State shot 52 percent from the field, compared to just 41 percent for the Wildcats. WSU was 7 of 25 from 3-point range, while ISU shot 61 percent from beyond the arc, the best any team has shot against Weber State this season.
The first half saw seven lead changes and six ties. Idaho State led by five with 3:52 remaining when the ‘Cats closed the half on a 6-0 run, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Jeremy Senglin. Senglin had 14 points in the half and knocked down four 3-pointers.
Idaho State started the second half on a 15-5 run and took a nine point lead six minutes into the half. WSU responded with a 14-3 run over the next 2:38 to regain the lead and it was a see-saw battle the rest of the way. The ‘Cats took their largest lead of the game at four points at 68-64 with 3:00 to play, but the Bengals closed the game on a 6-2 run to send the game to overtime.
Two of Weber State’s three Big Sky games have come in overtime, and the ‘Cats have lost both games 78-75.
Around THE BIG SKY
Weber State remains in first place in the league standings at 11-3 with six conference games to play. The Wildcats have a two game lead in the conference standings with Northern Colorado in second place at 9-5. Both Weber State and Northern Colorado have four of their final six games on the road.
North Dakota and Northern Arizona are tied for third at 8-6 and five teams, including Montana and Montana State, are tied for fifth at 7-7. The top seven teams in the league standings will qualify for the conference tournament.
BIG SKY RANKINGS
Weber State continues to rank as the top defense team in the Big Sky as the Wildcats are first in the conference in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense and rank second in 3-point field percentage defense. The ‘Cats are also first in scoring margin and blocked shots and rank second in the league in rebounding and are third in assists. The Wildcats are fourth in scoring offense and rank third in field goal percentage and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Wildcats are 3-7 on the road this season, including 3-3 away from home in Big Sky games. So far this season in the 10 road games the Wildcats are averaging 68.2 points per game and shooting 43.7 percent. They are also being outrebounded by 1.5 per game.
In the 12 home games WSU is averaging 77.1 points per game and giving up just 60.1 a game. They are also shooting 50 percent from the field and outrebounding opponents by 7.3 per game.
This season in the Big Sky, home teams are 56-21 in conference games.
DAVION BERRY REACHES 20 POINT MARK AGAIN
For the WSU ninth time in the last 10 games WSU senior Davion Berry has reached 20 points. Berry had 20 points on 6 of 19 shooting in Monday’s loss at Idaho State. He also had five rebounds and three assists and was a perfect 8 of 8 from the free throw line. It marked the 14th time this season he has reached 20 or more points. He has led the Wildcats in scoring in 10 straight games.
The Oakland, Calif., native is fourth in the Big Sky in scoring at 19.2 points per game and is averaging 20.5 points in Big Sky games, second best in the conference. He continues to lead Weber State in assists, free throw percentage, steals, 3-pointers per game and assist to turnover ratio.
Berry is also closing in on a milestone as he needs just 14 more points to become the 29th player in Weber State history to reach 1,000 career points. He has 986 career points in 59 career games with the Wildcats.
JEREMY SENGLIN WITH 18 POINTS
Weber State freshman Jeremy Senglin had 18 points in Monday’s loss at Idaho State. Senglin was 5 of 13 from the field, including 4 of 10 from 3-point range. He scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half. On the season Senglin is second on the Wildcat team in scoring at 11.3 points per game and leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage at 38.3 percent. He has scored in double figures 14 times this season, including five of the last six games. In the last six games he is averaging 13.8 points per game and shooting 52 percent from the field.
RICHAUD GITTENS SCORES IN DOUBLE FIGURES
WSU’s other freshman, Richaud Gittens, added 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting in Monday’s game with the Bengals. He also knocked down a career-high two 3-pointers. The 14 points was the highest he has scored in a Big Sky game this season and marked the fourth time he has reached double figures.
Gittens, a native of Tempe, Ariz., is averaging 6.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game and has played in all 22 games for this season.
ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR JOEL BOLOMBOY
WSU sophomore Joel Bolomboy had 10 points and 12 rebounds in Monday’s loss, giving him eight double-doubles on the season, the most of any player in the Big Sky. Bolomboy is fifth in the nation in rebounding at 11.1 per game and is averaging 12.2 boards per game in Big Sky games. He has reached double figures in rebounding 14 times this season and has done so in eight of the last nine and 13 of the last 15 games. The Fort Worth, Texas native is also averaging nine points per game for the Wildcats.
JORDAN RICHARDSON TO SET BIG SKY RECORD FOR MOST GAMES PLAYED
With one more game played, WSU senior Jordan Richardson set the Big Sky Conference record for the most career games played in Weber State and Big Sky history. Richardson has played in 123 games in his four years at Weber State, tying former teammate Darin Mahoney (2008-12). The Lewisville, Texas native has never missed a game in his career at Weber State and has started 70 times.
WILDCAT COACHING STAFF
Weber State head coach Randy Rahe is now second on the all-time list for Big Sky Conference wins. Rahe, in his eighth season as head coach of the Wildcats, has posted career record of 164-83 (.664) overall and is 103-27 (.792) in Big Sky regular season games. He is the third coach in conference history to reach 100 career Big Sky victories and is now second all-time. Former Montana State coach Mick Durham is the all-time leader with 123 Big Sky wins. Rahe’s Big Sky winning percentage also ranks third all-time behind Weber State’s Phil Johnson (.886) and Idaho’s Kermit Davis (.813). He is currently fifth in league history in overall wins.
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 and current All-Star 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.
Montana enters Thursday’s game with a 12-11 overall record and a 7-7 mark in Big Sky play. The Grizzlies are currently in a five-way tie for fifth in the league standings with six games remaining. The Grizzlies are 7-3 at home this season, including a 4-2 mark in Big Sky home games. They are coming off back-to-back road loss at Northern Colorado and North Dakota, which snapped a four-game winning streak.
Montana leads the Big Sky in free throw percentage at 74.4 percent and is second in field goal percentage at 47.6 percent. UM is also second in 3-pointers per game, third in 3-point field goal percentage and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
The Grizzlies are led by senior Kareem Jamar, the reigning Big Sky MVP, who is third in the Big Sky in scoring at 19.6 points per game. He is also third in the league in assists at 4.3 and ranks ninth in rebounding at 5.7 per game. Junior Jordan Gregory is ninth in the conference in scoring at 14.3 points per game and is third in the league in free throw percentage.
Montana has won the Big Sky in each of the past two seasons. In the last two years, the Grizzlies were 34-2 in Big Sky regular season games and each year finished one game ahead of Weber State who was 32-4 in Big Sky games. The Grizzlies have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four years.
Montana was picked second in the coaches Big Sky preseason poll and third in the media poll.
HEAD COACH WAYNE TINKLE
The Grizzlies are coached by Wayne Tinkle who is in his eighth season at Montana. Tinkle enters Saturday’s game with a 153-89 career record at Montana and is 92-38 in Big Sky games. Tinkle has led the Grizzlies to two Big Sky titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Tinkle is 9-10 in his career against Weber State, while WSU head coach Randy Rahe is 10-9 against the Grizzlies.
This will be the 119th all-time meeting between Weber State and Montana and the Wildcats hold a 66-52 all-time series lead over the Grizzlies. Montana has won four of the last six games played. In games in Missoula, the Grizzlies lead 33-22 all-time and have won six straight games. The last WSU win in Missoula came in February 2009.
The Grizzlies have knocked the Wildcats out of the Big Sky Tournament in each of the last four years. Three of the four years have been in the conference championship game.
LAST MEETING - 01/25/14 - OGDEN - WSU 68, UM 63 Weber State wrapped up a four-game homestand with a 68-63 win over Big Sky rival Montana Jan. 25 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.
Davion Berry led the ‘Cats with 25 points and Joel Bolomboy had a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. Kareem Jamar led the Grizzlies with 20 points.
WEBER STATE TO PLAY IN 2014 PARADISE JAM
The Weber State men’s basketball team is one of eight teams that will participate in the 2014 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam this November. The Wildcats will join Clemson, Gardner-Webb, Illinois State, LSU, Nevada, Old Dominion and Seton Hall at the tournament, held on the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Nov. 21-24, 2014.
The Wildcats will play three games during the four-day tournament, hosted by the University of the Virgin Islands the weekend before Thanksgiving. The tournament bracket and schedule will be announced later this year. This will be Weber State’s first preseason tournament in three years.
BIG SKY LAUNCHES WATCH BIG SKY APP
The Big Sky Conference’s Watch Big Sky App has been released and is available for free through the Apple Store, and on Google Play for Android.
The Watch Big Sky App will allow fans and alumni easier access to view live and archived Big Sky Conference events, and to view those events almost anywhere. Users can download the free App, and will not be required to register or download any other programs.
The Watch Big Sky App will allow viewers to see more than 500 streamed athletic events each year. Watch Big Sky was designed and created by America One Sports, the Big Sky Conference’s video streaming provider.
Watch Big Sky will still be available on personal computers at www.watchbigsky.com. Watch Big Sky, the league’s digital network, launched in 2006 as Big Sky TV. Conference schools video streams most football, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as other events free of charge through the service.
After Thursday’s game the Wildcats will conclude their road trip at Montana State on Saturday. WSU will return home to host Sacramento State and Northern Arizona next week.