GAME NOTES: The Weber State Wildcats shoot for their second three-game win streak in the course of a month, as they entertain the Idaho State Bengals in Big Sky Conference action at the Dee Events Center on Monday night.
This is the second game of a four-game homestand for a Weber State program that was roughed up during the non-conference portion of its schedule but seems to be settling in nicely now. The team was last in action two nights ago versus Southern Utah, and turned the Thunderbirds away in a 65-59 final. The win was the second in a row and the fifth in the last six tries for WSU.
Meanwhile the Bengals, a team which is just 1-6 in true road games in 2013-14, actually came out on the winning side of their latest endeavor, a 60-45 triumph over the same Southern Utah group last Thursday night. The victory snapped a two-game slide for ISU, which is now 3-2 in conference play.
In a series that dates back to the 1962-63 campaign, the Wildcats are ahead by a commanding 73-41 margin, taking two straight from Idaho State.
The Idaho State defense came alive against the Thunderbirds last week, limiting the visitors to only 35.6 percent shooting from the floor and 4-of-16 behind the 3-point line in the double-digit decision. On offense, it was Andre Hatchett with his 17 points, Chris Hansen with 13 and Tomas Sanchez 11 who provided much of the scoring. Jeffrey Solarin accounted for eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds, as the hosts beat SUU on the glass by a massive 46-27 margin.
Leading the offense is Hansen with his 16.3 ppg, shooting an impressive 41.2 percent behind the 3-point line in order to give the Bengals somewhat of a threat out on the perimeter. Sanchez checks in with another 15.4 ppg and he too has done well for himself on the outside with 41.9 percent accuracy. Between the pair they've made 66 triples, which means the rest of the unit has combined for a mere 13 3-pointers.
Against one of the weakest offensive programs in all of college basketball, the Wildcats played down to the level of Southern Utah and barely came out with a six-point win on Saturday. Weber State shot only 40.0 percent from the field and had almost as many turnovers (13) as field goals (14). The only player that really showed up was Davion Berry who, while making just 3-of-8 shots from the floor, erupted for 18-of-23 at the free-throw line in order to come away with a game-high 25 points. As a team, WSU outscored the Thunderbirds at the charity stripe, 31-7.
Berry leads the club in scoring with his 16.4 ppg and while he has done quite a bit of damage at the charity stripe (77-of-97), his accuracy behind the 3- point line (.305) leaves a lot to be desired. Jeremy Senglin checks in with 11.5 ppg and has combined with Berry to distribute 76 assists, close to half of the squad's total through 13 games.
Obviously the Wildcats are no longer the team that dominates the Big Sky, but before Idaho State starts to think too highly of itself, getting over on Weber State on the road is still a tall order for any program.
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