Northern Colorado (7-14) at Weber State (17-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 4th, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: Altitude. Home Record: UNC 3-7, WSU 12-0. Away Record: UNC 2-7, WSU 4-4. Neutral Record: UNC 2-0, WSU 1-0. Conference Record: UNC 4-6, WSU 9-1. Series Record: Weber State leads, 7-3.
GAME NOTES: Still all alone atop the Big Sky Conference standings, the Weber State Wildcats now turn their attention to the Northern Colorado Bears as the two teams clash at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah this evening.
Weber State opened the Big Sky schedule with eight straight wins before bowing against Idaho State last weekend, 64-62, on the road. The Wildcats got back on track two nights ago with a 92-79 beating of Portland State at home in order to move to 9-1 in conference and 17-4 overall on the season.
As for the Bears, they too were in action on Thursday night, but in their case they stumbled in a 73-62 final versus Sacramento State at home. The loss was the fourth in the last five games for UNC, now just 4-6 in conference which has the squad tied with PSU for sixth place in the standings heading into the weekend.
Weber State leads the all-time series by a count of 7-3 after posting a narrow 72-71 win in the most recent matchup last season in Ogden. Since winning five of the first six matchups, the Wildcats have split the season series each of the last two years. These two teams are set to complete the season series in just under three weeks when UNC hosts the Wildcats in Greeley, Colorado.
Tevin Svihovec scored 19 points for the Bears two nights ago, converting 6- of-9 shots at the free-throw line, but that means the rest of his teammates knocked down just 5-of-19 at the stripe and that's a big reason why UNC fell by 11 points to Sacramento State. Connor Osborne added another 11 points for a group that shot 44.4 percent from the floor but just 3-of-10 behind the three- point line. Svihovec, the leading scorer for the team in two of the last three outings, is in a virtual tie for second on the team scoring list with Emmanuel Addo at 9.7 ppg. Just ahead of the pair is Tate Unruh who is posting 9.9 ppg, thanks to his 41.5 percent accuracy from three-point range and 96.0 percent at the free-throw line. One of the better three-point shooting teams in the nation at 42.9 percent, the Bears are having their issues on defense as they permit 74.5 ppg.
The nation's leading scorer did it again on Thursday night as Damian Lillard became the first Division I player to score at least 40 points twice this season as he dropped 40 in the win over Portland State. Lillard knocked down an impressive 13-of-18 from the floor, including 6-of-8 behind the three- point line, while Scott Bamforth stepped up with a strong game of his own with 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the team connected on a staggering 15-of-28 beyond the arc and turned the ball over a mere six times. Lillard, a 47.4 percent shooter from the floor, is also connecting on a fantastic 45.8 percent out on the perimeter and 89.6 percent at the free-throw line as he generates his 25.1 ppg. But the Wildcats are more than just Lillard because Bamforth is also having an outstanding season with 15.6 ppg as he shoots 42.3 percent from three-point range. Then again, with Lillard also leading the program in assists (79) and steals (25) and placing second in rebounding (5.5 rpg) it is hard to get beyond the star guard when preparing for WSU.
Obviously the goal for any team facing the Wildcats is to try and slow down Lillard, but even if you keep him around his average you still have to deal with Bamforth and that's why Weber State is destined to win again this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 88, Northern Colorado 73
02/04 10:35:02 ET