Weber State (16-3) at Idaho State (6-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 28th, 9:05 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Holt Arena (8,000) -- Pocatello, Idaho. Television: None. Home Record: WSU 11-0, ISU 4-5. Away Record: WSU 4-3, ISU 2-9. Neutral Record: WSU 1-0, ISU 0-0. Conference Record: WSU 8-0, ISU 4-4. Series Record: Weber State leads, 71-40.
GAME NOTES: A bit tired after Thursday night's action, the Idaho State Bengals now prepare for the arrival of the Weber State Wildcats for a Big Sky Conference showdown at Holt Arena.
The Bengals played their third overtime game of the season, but this time they had to play a pair of extra periods, but at least they came away with the 99-94 triumph versus Northern Colorado at home. The victory, the first in double-overtime for the program since 2003, was the second in a row and the third in four tries for the team as it evened its conference record at 4-4.
As for the Wildcats, they continued to impress two nights ago as they posted a 75-60 victory over the Sacramento State Hornets in order to remain perfect in conference at 8-0 and run their overall win streak to 10 straight, dating back to the middle of December. Needless to say, WSU is all alone atop the Big Sky standings entering the weekend.
Obviously, with an unblemished conference record thus far, it means that the Wildcats won the first meeting of the season back in late December by a score of 78-64 at home. Damian Lillard and Scott Bamforth dominated in that contest with 26 and 21 points, respectively, for the hosts. As a result, the all-time series now stands at 71-40 in favor of Weber State.
Four players scored in double figures for the Wildcats in the win over Sacramento, led by Lillard with his 21 points, to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Bamforth dropped in 17 points, Darin Mahoney 14 and 10 rebounds and Kyle Tresnak 13 points before he picked up his fifth personal foul. As a whole, the Wildcats made good on 53.1 percent from the floor on the night, while holding the Hornets to a mere 35.2 percent. Lillard, who again entered the week ranked as the top scorer in the nation, is generating 24.8 ppg as he shoots not only 45.7 percent from three-point range but also a sizzling 91.2 percent at the free-throw line (134-of-147). But more than just a scoring machine, Lillard is also first on the team in assists (70) and steals (24) and is one of the top rebounders for the group with 5.8 rpg, so there's little he can't and won't do in order to get WSU into the win column.
Chase Grabau rattled home 30 points, shooting 5-of-7 behind the three-point line and 11-of-15 from the floor overall in the double-overtime win against Northern Colorado on Thursday night. Melvin Morgan contributed 22 points and five assists as he too connected on 5-of-7 beyond the arc, followed by Kenny McGowen with 18 points, five steals and four assists, but much of that was washed out by his seven turnovers. As a whole, ISU made good on 56.7 percent from the floor and 51.9 percent out on the perimeter in order to overcome 17 miscues. Grabau, the leading scorer for the Bengals in two straight and three of the last four games, has gone from scoring just 13.6 ppg overall on the season to an impressive 19.8 ppg in league action as he shoots 48.4 percent behind the three-point line and 62.1 percent from the field versus familiar foes. Also upping their scoring efforts against Big Sky opponents are Morgan and McGowen with 12.6 and 13.9 ppg, respectively.
The Bengals might play this one a bit closer than the first meeting of the season last month, but you have to wonder how much the additional 10 minutes of play on Thursday took out of the group.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 77, Idaho State 66
01/28 10:37:32 ET