GAME NOTES: The top team in the Big Sky Conference heads out on the road tonight, as the Weber State Wildcats take on the Idaho State Bengals at Holt Arena.
Weber State did not play over the weekend, but still the team maintains an advantage in the Big Sky with an 11-2 record. The squad last took the floor on Thursday night against Southern Utah and easily dismissed one of the weakest teams in all of college basketball, 75-55, on the road. The Wildcats, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip, have won three straight and nine of the last 10 decisions overall.
Oddly enough, the last opponent for the Bengals on Saturday was Southern Utah as well, and while ISU struggled in the early going of that meeting, the team eventually pulled out the 75-65 victory in Cedar City. The victory for the Bengals, who are still floundering near the bottom of the league standings, was the second in the last three outings.
The Wildcats won the first meeting of the season last month at home by a score of 65-59, as Davion Berry tallied 23 points and Joel Bolomboy cleared 16 rebounds for the hosts. Chris Hansen tallied a game-high 27 points for the Bengals, who now trail the all-time series by a 74-41 margin. Idaho State does have the advantage in games played in Pocatello, but only by a slim 27-25 margin.
Berry scored 23 points as Weber State dominated the Southern Utah Thunderbirds by 20 points in Big Sky play at Centrum Arena the last time out. Also scoring in double figures for the Wildcats was Kyle Tresnak with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor. Weber State owned a 31-20 advantage on the glass and limited the hosts to only 38.3 percent accuracy from the field, efforts that helped to compensate for 15 turnovers on the evening.
Taking into consideration only conference games, Berry leads the WSU offense with 20.5 ppg as he shoots 50.4 percent from the floor and 82.9 percent at the free-throw line. Berry is also first on the unit with 50 assists and is second on the glass with close to five rebounds per outing. Jeremy Senglin and Tresnak chime in with 10.5 and 10.4 ppg, respectively, while the team leans heavily on Joel Bolomboy (9.6 ppg) for rebounding as he clears an impressive 12.2 rpg.
Hansen scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down seven rebounds, as the Bengals came back to defeat Southern Utah by double figures in a Big Sky clash at Centrum Arena over the weekend. Hansen connected on 5-of-9 shots behind the 3-point line for the Bengals. Andre Hatchett added 16 points and Tomas Sanchez 14 in the triumph. ISU outscored the T'birds at the charity stripe, 27-14, and turned the ball over a mere six times on the evening.
Hansen leads the team in scoring this season with his 16.9 ppg, bumping up his efforts in conference play to the tune of 17.7 ppg. Hatchett has had the same experience when facing league foes, posting 16.5 ppg in those 13 appearances, as opposed to 14.7 ppg overall in 2013-14. However, Sanchez is shooting only 35.4 percent from the floor in conference which is why his productivity drops to 14.7 ppg from 15.2 ppg overall for a team that is consistently scoring in the range of 71 ppg.
The Wildcats have beaten ISU in three straight and 10 of the last 11 encounters and given how much time WSU has had to prepare for this meeting and the difficulty the Bengals had in handling SUU, this should be another easy victory for Weber State.
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