Eastern Washington (11-13) at Weber State (19-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 9:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: EWU 6-4, WSU 13-0. Away Record: EWU 5-9, WSU 5-4. Neutral Record: EWU 0-0, WSU 1-0. Conference Record: EWU 5-6, WSU 11-1. Series Record: Weber State leads, 40-20.
GAME NOTES: Sporting an unblemished 13-0 record at home this season, the Weber State Wildcats try to keep their perfect mark intact tonight as they host the Eastern Washington Eagles in Big Sky Conference action at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah.
The Wildcats were actually on the road two nights ago and used the opportunity to deliver a 67-49 win over Northern Arizona, which means WSU has now won three straight and 13 of the last 14 outings overall. The victory also allowed the team to keep pace with Montana which also boasts an 11-1 conference record.
As for the Eagles, stuck in sixth place in the Big Sky with a record of 5-6, they've been out of action since last weekend's 75-71 home loss to Sacramento State. The defeat snapped a brief two-game win streak for the group and was its fifth setback in the last seven outings overall.
The series between these two teams is currently under the control of WSU by a count of 40-20. Earlier this season, the Eagles suffered a 76-69 home loss to the Wildcats as Damian Lillard scored 30 points, cleared seven rebounds and handed out five assists for the visitors.
Cliff Ederaine filled up his stat line against Sacramento State last weekend with 15 points, 18 rebounds and six assists, but still the Eagles came out on the losing end of that matchup. Cliff Colimon was responsible for a team-best 25 points as he shot 3-of-5 behind the three-point line, but that meant the rest of the unit was a combined 2-of-10 on the perimeter. Decided by just four points, the fact that EWU shot a miserable 18-of-33 at the free-throw line was certainly one reason why the Eagles lost. Over the course of 11 conference games, Ederaine is averaging 12.4 points and a team-best 9.3 rebounds per contest, but still he is getting little help on the glass and that is allowing league foes to hold a rebounding advantage over the program. Collin Chiverton, a 16.2 ppg scorer for the season overall, has watched his production drop to 13.3 ppg in league play, his accuracy from the floor coming in at a mere 35.9 percent in those dates.
For anyone else, scoring 18 points would be a solid night, but for the nation's leading scorer it actually fell more than seven points below his average, but still Damian Lillard had to be pleased with the win over NAU on Thursday night. Lillard, who is pacing the entire nation with his 25.2 ppg, failed to make a three-point basket for the first time this season, but the bottom line was still the WSU victory above all else. Kyle Bullinger added 16 points and Byron Fulton registered his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a mere 17 minutes off the bench. If defenses are able to keep Lillard under his scoring average, they still have to deal with guys like Scott Bamforth and Kyle Tresnak who, despite having sub par games of their own two nights ago, are still averaging 15.4 and 9.9 ppg, respectively. As a team, Weber State not only leads the Big Sky in scoring, it is also 14th in the country with close to 79 ppg as well.
Eastern Washington has had just marginal success on the road this season and while the Wildcats are due to have a flat game at some point, don't expect it to happen tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 79, Eastern Washington 65
02/11 10:37:29 ET