NORTH DAKOTA (16-8, 11-3) AT
WEBER STATE (16-8, 11-2)
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 • 7:00 p.m.
Ogden, UT • Dee Events Center (11,500)
Online video: WatchBigSky.com and Big Sky app
Radio: KLO 1430 AM (Steve Klauke, David Patten)
Live audio: WeberStateSports.com
Live stats: WeberStateStats.com
Series: Weber State leads 9-2
Streak: North Dakota 1 win
In Ogden: Weber State leads 4-0
Last game: 01/19/17 - Grand Forks - UND 83, WSU 77
• It’s a first-place Big Sky showdown Saturday night as Weber State hosts North Dakota at the Dee Events Center.
• WSU is 16-8 overall and 11-2 in Big Sky play after Thursday’s 69-63 win over Northern Colorado.
• The Wildcats have a half-game lead over North Dakota in the Big Sky standings.
• The Fighting Hawks are 16-8 overall and 11-3 in conference games.
• WSU has won eight straight and 22 of its last 23 games at home.
• Weber State is 9-2 all-time against North Dakota and the Wildcats are a perfect 4-0 against the Fighting Hawks in Ogden.
• North Dakota beat Weber State 83-77 on Jan. 19 in Grand Forks.
Saturday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. at the Dee Events Center in Ogden. The game will be streamed online at WatchBigSky.com and the Big Sky App, and will be broadcast on the radio on 1430 KLO and kloradio.com. Steve Klauke and former WSU standout and Big Sky MVP David Patten will call the action.
Live stats will be available at WeberStateStats.com.
WILDCATS RALLY FOR WIN OVER NORTHERN COLORADO
Weber State trailed by eight points early in the second half but rallied to beat Northern Colorado 69-63 Thursday night at the Dee Events Center to remain in first place in the conference standings. The Wildcats shot 49 percent from the field and outrebounded the Bears 32-30. WSU was just 5-of-18 from 3-point land and but 16-of-19 from the free throw line to seal the win.
FIRST-PLACE CONFERENCE SHOWDOWN
Weber State remains in first place in the Big Sky Conference standings at 11-2 with five conference games remaining. Saturday’s opponent North Dakota is just a half game back at 11-3, meaning the winner of Saturday’s game will take a hold of first place in the conference standings.
Weber State’s final five conference games are against the other top five teams in the league standings.
This is the 10th time in 11 seasons under head coach Randy Rahe at Weber State that the Wildcats have won at least 10 conference games.
KYNDAHL HILL POSTS SEASON-HIGH IN LEADING WILDCATS
Weber State senior Kyndahl Hill led the Wildcats in scoring for the first time this season as he scored a season-high 19 points to lead WSU to the win. Hill was 5-of-6 from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line in the win. He made all six of his free throw attempts in the final 1:30 of the game to seal the victory.
It was the 14th time this season the Humble, Texas, native has scored in double figures. On the year he is averaging 10.3 points and ranks fifth in the conference in rebounding at 7.3 per game. He is also third in the league in blocks, ninth in field goal percentage and 13th in free throw percentage.
Saturday’s game was the 120th game of Kyndahl Hill’s career, now tied for the sixth most games played in WSU history. He has never missed a game in his career and currently ranks 10th in career rebounds with 639 and fourth in career blocks with 107.
BRAXTON, HARDING ADD BIG NIGHTS IN WIN
Zach Braxton and Jerrick Harding also both had big nights in helping Weber State to Thursday’s win.
Braxton, sophomore from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, finished with 16 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds in the win. He was also 7-of-10 from the field. Braxton is third in the Big Sky this season in field goal percentage at .633.
Harding, a freshman from Wichita, Kansas, added 13 points in 20 minutes off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting and was 2-of-2 from 3-point land. He also added three rebounds.
FREE THROW SHOOTING
Weber State was 16-of-19 from the free throw line for 84.2 percent shooting in Thursday’s win. It was the sixth time this season WSU has shot better than 80 percent from the line. The Wildcats are fourth in the league overall at 72.6 percent this season but are leading the conference in free throw shooting in conference games at 76.3 percent.
The Wildcats are 10-2 this season when outshooting their opponents from the line.
WILDCATS FIRST IN THE NATION IN 3-POINT PERCENTAGE
Weber State shot just 5-of-18 from 3-point land in Thursday’s win and the five made 3-pointers was the second fewest in a game this season. However, the Wildcats continue to lead the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 42.7 percent. WSU also leads the Big Sky and is ninth in the nation in field goal percentage at 49.5 percent.
Wildcat senior Jeremy Senglin was just 2-of-8 from 3-point land Thursday but continues to lead the country in 3-pointers per game at 4.2 and is fifth in percentage. He has made 101 3-pointers this season, tied for the most of any player in the country and the third most in a game in WSU history.
After Saturday, the Wildcats will head on the road for their final regular season road trip of the year playing at Eastern Washington Thursday and at Idaho Saturday.
The ‘Cats will then host Montana and Montana State the following week.
ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA
North Dakota is 16-8 overall and 11-3 in Big Sky play heading into Saturday’s showdown with the Wildcats. The Fighting Hawks have won four straight and seven of their last eight games.
North Dakota is second in the league in scoring offense, and ranks second in scoring margin, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, assists and steals. Saturday’s game will feature the top two field goal shooting and 3-point field goal shooting teams. UND is 11th in the league in 3-pointers per game at 7.3.
Senior guard Quinton Hooker, the Big Sky’s Preseason Player of the Year, leads the Fighting Hawks at 19 points per game, seventh best in the Big Sky, and is second in free throw percentage. Hooker is also third in 3-point percentage. Geno Crandall is next at 15.7 per game. Drick Bernstine is fourth in rebounding at 7.4 per game.
HEAD COACH BRIAN JONES
The Fighting Hawks are coached by Brian Jones who is in his 11th season as head coach at UND. Jones enters Saturday’s game with a 160-177 overall record and is 72-76 in conference games, including a 48-41 record in the five years as members of the Big Sky.
Weber State holds a 9-2 all-time series lead over North Dakota but the Fighting Hawks have won two of the last three meetings. The two teams played three times last season with each team winning at home and Weber State winning in the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament in Reno.
WSU is 4-0 all-time against the Fighting Hawks in Ogden and the Wildcats have won the four games by an average margin of 18.8 points per game.
LAST GAME - 01/19/17 - GRAND FORKS - UND 83, WSU 77
North Dakota handed Weber State its first conference loss and snapped its seven-game winning streak as the Fighting Hawks beat the Wildcats 83-77 on Jan. 19 in Grand Forks. UND shot 56 percent from the field, which is the best any team has shot against Weber State this season.
Geno Crandall scored a career-high 31 points to lead North Dakota, while Quinton Hooker added 22. Jeremy Senglin had 24 with six 3-pointers for Weber State.