Weber State (15-3) at Sacramento State (5-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 26th, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Hornets Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: WSU 11-0, Sacramento 4-5. Away Record: WSU 3-3, Sacramento 1-6. Neutral Record: WSU 1-0, Sacramento 0-0. Conference Record: WSU 7-0, Sacramento 0-5. Series Record: Weber State leads, 30-4.
GAME NOTES: The Weber State Wildcats will try to remain unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play as they pay a visit to the Sacramento State Hornets.
Weber State is enjoying an impressive run this season, the team losing just three times in 18 tries. The Wildcats have won their last nine game, the most recent of which being an 81-67 decision over Northern Arizona on January 19.
While Weber State have yet to lose a game in conference play, Sacramento State is still trying to tally its first Big Sky victory. The Hornets are losers of eight straight, including an 85-56 setback at the hands of Montana last Saturday.
In 34 all-time meetings, Weber State has dominated the series with Sacramento State, 30-4. The Wildcats won the first meeting this year by a final of 74-63 in Ogden on New Year's Eve. Damian Lillard led WSU with 22 points.
Weber State has the Big Sky's best scoring offense, notching 79.2 ppg, and the team kept up with that pace in its last win over Montana. The Wildcats shot 56.9 percent from the field and got big scoring efforts from Kyle Tresnak (22 points) and Lillard (18 points). Lillard is the nation's top scorer, netting 25.1 ppg on 46.8 percent shooting and he leads the conference in free-throw percentage (.909) and three-pointers per game (3.4), while ranking second in three-point field goal percentage (.455). The junior standout does a little bit of everything as he also leads the Wildcats in rebounding (5.8 rpg), assists (3.7 apg) and steals (1.3 spg). Scott Bamforth is a competent scorer in his own right, averaging 15.4 ppg while hitting 2.8 threes per contest. Tresnak rounds out WSU's double-digit scorers with 10.6 ppg. Weber State is also an effective rebounding team, leading the conference with 36.2 rpg.
Sacramento State's offense isn't nearly as potent as Weber State's, and in fact the Hornets average 15 points per game less than do the Wildcats. The team struggled once again in the recent loss to Montana, shooting a mere 39.6 percent from the field, which included a 2-of-12 showing from three-point range, while also committing 17 turnovers. Heath Hoffman paced the Hornets with 12 points in the loss, up from his season average of 7.0 ppg. John Dickson is Sacramento State's leading scorer with 12.8 ppg on 45.6 percent accuracy from the field, but he hits just 18.2 percent of his three-pointers. Joe Eberhard adds 10.4 ppg and a team-high 6.3 rpg. Dylan Garrity scores just 6.6 ppg, but leads the Big Sky in assists with 6.1 per contest. Sacramento State's one saving grace this season has been its defensive effort, which allows 67.6 ppg (second-best in the conference).
While four of Sacramento's five wins have come at home, the Hornets are completely overmatched here against the Big Sky's top team. Expect Weber State to win with ease.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 77, Sacramento State 60
01/26 10:36:46 ET