Wildcats take on Bobcats Wednesday in Bozeman
Courtesy: Weber State  
Release: Sunday 02/13/2012
Courtesy: Weber State
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Kyle Tresnak and the Wildcats will play their final three Big Sky games on the road.

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Weber State (20-4, 12-1) will play at Montana State (11-13, 6-7) Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Bozeman, Montana. 

•  The Wildcats hit the road for the first of three conference road games to finish the season when they play at Montana State Wednesday. 
•  WSU is coming off a 84-75 win over Eastern Washington last Saturday. 
•  The Wildcats are now 20-4 and 12-1 in league play and have reached 20 wins for the 25th time in 50 years of Division I basketball.  
•  Montana State enters Wednesday’s game 11-13 overall and 6-7 in Big Sky play and has lost five straight.    
•  The Wildcats have won eight of the last 11 against the Bobcats.

     The Wildcats and Bobcats will tipoff at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night for the Worthington Arena in Bozeman.  The game will be broadcast live on KZNS-1280 AM “The Zone” with the voice of the Wildcats and the 2011 Utah Sportscaster of the Year Carl Arky calling the action. 
    The game can also be seen for free on the internet at bigskytv.org.  In addition, live stats will be available at msubobcats.com
    Weber State junior Damian Lillard led the Wildcats in scoring for the 18th time in 24 games this season as he finished with 22 points in Thursday’s win at NAU.  Lillard finished the night 4-13 from the field and was 2-6 from the three-point line and was 12-12 the free throw line.  It was the third time this season he has made 12 free throws in a game and the most he has made with out a miss. 
    Lillard continues to lead the nation in scoring, now at 25.1 points per game.  He has 602 points on the season, which is the 10th most in WSU single-season history after just 24 games.  Lillard is 112 points away from becoming WSU’s single-season leader in scoring.  His 78 three-pointers this season rank as the third most in single-season history, leaving him seven away from becoming the single-season leader.  Lillard holds the single-season record of 84 three-pointers which he set in 2009-10.
    He currently ranks second in WSU history in career scoring with 1,752 career points, which is also 12th in Big Sky history.  He is 268 points away from WSU’s all-time leader Bruce Collins.  Lillard is also 13 three-pointers away from passing John Hamilton as the school’s all-time leader. 

    Last week Lillard was added to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch list.  He has also been named as one of 11 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, recognizing the top point guard in college basketball.
    Fan can now vote for the top point guard in the nation. The player that receives the most fan votes will receive one vote toward the final committee vote. Fan voting will run one month – from February 6th to March 6th.  Fans can vote once per day, per email address.  The current listing of 11 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be narrowed down to five players on March 8th. The winner of the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be awarded at the Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Monday April 2nd in New Orleans as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.
    Lillard is also a finalist for the John Wooden Award.

    Sophomore forward Byron Fulton continued his strong play with a season-high 16 points  in Saturday’s win.  He also added a game-high nine rebounds and was 6-9 from the field.  In two games last week Fulton averaged 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 68.8 percent from the field. 
    On the season he is averaging 7.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. 

    WSU senior Kyle Bullinger is eight points shy of 1,000 for his career.  He will become the 26th player in Weber State history to reach 1,000 career points.  Bullinger is currently 15th in school history in career rebounding with 553 and is fifth in career three-pointers with 143. 
    This season Bullinger is averaging 6.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.  He has played in 109 career games at Weber State, starting 104 games. 
    With a 12-1 record in Big Sky play, the Wildcats have clinched at least second place and a bye into the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament.  Montana, also 12-1 in league play, has also clinched no worse than second place, meaning the Big Sky Tournament will be held March 6-7 in either Ogden or Missoula.  Weber State finishes the regular season Feb. 28 at Montana. 

    The Wildcats improved to 14-0 at home this season.  They have finished the season 14-0 three times in school history (1965-66, 1968-69, and 1998-99) but have never gone better than that.  WSU has won 16 games (1979-80), where they finished 16-1 but have never been undefeated better than 14-0. 
      Dating back to last season the Wildcats have won 15 straight and 22 of their last 23 games at the Dee Events Center.  WSU head coach Randy Rahe is 44-4 at home in Big Sky regular season games in his six seasons at Weber State.

    With Saturday’s win the Wildcats have now reached 20 wins.  It marks the 25th time in 50 years of Division I basketball that Weber State has reached 20 or more wins.  It is the fourth time with 20 or more wins for Coach Randy Rahe in his six years at Weber State.  The other three seasons Rahe has led the ‘Cats to 20 or more wins they won the Big Sky Championship. 

     Weber State continues to lead the nation in free throw percentage, now at 81.0 percent.  The ‘Cats are the only team in the nation shooting better than 79 percent from the line.  They are also third in the country in three-point field goals per game (9.3), fifth in turnovers (10.5), and seventh three-point field goal percentage (.410).  They are also 14th in scoring offense
    Individually Damian Lillard is first in scoring (25.1), fifth in three-pointers made per game (3.3), ninth in three-point percentage (45.8) and 16th in free throw percentage (88.7).  Scott Bamforth is fifth in free throw percentage (90.6).

     Montana State enters Wednesday’s game with an 11-13 overall record and a 6-7 mark in Big Sky Conference play and has lost five straight games.  The Bobcats started Big Sky play 6-2 but since then have lost five straight, with two of those games overtime losses.  They are coming off a 77-64 overtime loss at Northern Colorado on Saturday. 
    The Bobcats lead the Big Sky in blocks, averaging four per game.  They are also second in steals and rank third in rebounding.  They are last in the league in free throw percentage at 68.5 percent and are eighth in rebounding defense.
    Individually, Xavier Blount leads the team and is 13th in the Big Sky in scoring at 11.7 points per game with Christian Moon averaging 10.8.  Sophomore Tre Johnson ranks sixth in the league in rebounding at 6.4 per game.  Mohammed Fall leads the team in blocks at 1.3 per game.      

     The Bobcats are coached by Brad Huse who is in his sixth season at Montana State.  Huse enters this week with a 69-86 overall record at Montana State and is 44-49 in Big Sky games.  He spent eight seasons as head coach at Jamestown before coming to Montana State.  Huse is 4-9 in his career against Weber State, while WSU head coach Randy Rahe is 9-4 against the Bobcats. 

     Weber State holds a 73-35 all-time series lead over Montana State and the Wildcats have won eight of the last 11 games in the series, including earlier this season.  The 73 wins over the Bobcats is the most wins Weber State has against any opponent in its history.  In games played in Bozeman, Montana State holds a 27-24 all-time edge but Weber State has won three of the last four games played there.  MSU won 75-72 last season, snapping a three game Wildcat winning streak in Bozeman. 

EARLIER THIS SEASON IN OGDEN - 01/12/12 - WSU 63, msu 49
     Weber State beat Montana State 63-49 on Jan. 12 in Ogden to improve to 5-0 in Big Sky play.  The 49 points is tied for the fewest allowed by the Wildcats this season.  Scott Bamforth led the ‘Cats in that game, finishing with 20 points while Damian Lillard added 17 points and six rebounds.  Byron Fulton came off the bench for his first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.  Both teams shot just 33 percent from the field but the Wildcats had just six turnovers.  Jeff Budinich came off the bench to lead Montana State with 12 points and Michael Dison added 11. 

     Weber State and Montana both improved to 12-1 in league play with wins on Saturday.  Both teams have clinched no worse than second in the league standings.  Idaho State is next at 7-6 with Portland State at 6-6 followed by Montana State, Eastern Washington, Northern Colorado and Sacramento State. 

    WSU junior Frank Otis and freshman James Hajek are both likely out for the season.  Otis suffered an MCL injury in his knee.  He started the first seven games of the season for the Wildcats before dislocating his knee at BYU and missing the next nine games and returned against Montana on Jan. 14 and played in the next two games before the injury in his other knee. 
    Hajek dislocated his knee in the Jan. 7 game at Portland State, then reinjured his knee in practice.  He played in 15 games.
    So far this season Weber State has missed 33 player games due to injury. 

     “Montana State has played some very close games lately.  They are playing very tough and aggressive and with a lot of confidence.  We know they will play hard this week and we have to be able to respond.  They are a very talented and athletic team.”

     After Wednesday’s game the ‘Cats will step out of conference play to host UT Arlington in a Sears Bracketbusters game.  This Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN 3.  UT Arlington is 19-5 and has won 15 straight games, the second longest active streak in the nation.  Saturday’s game will be the final regular season home game for the ‘Cats this season. 

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