Weber State (14-8) at Montana (12-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dahlberg Arena (7,321) -- Missoula, Montana. Television: None. Home Record: WSU 11-1, Montana 7-3. Away Record: WSU 3-6, Montana 5-8. Neutral Record: WSU 0-0, Montana 0-0. Conference Record: WSU 11-3, Montana 7-7. Series Record: Weber State leads, 66-52.
GAME NOTES: Weber State tries to bounce back from an unexpected setback earlier this week, as the Wildcats go up against the Montana Grizzlies in Big Sky Conference action at Dahlberg Arena.
Playing the third of four straight road games, Weber State was in action three nights ago at Idaho State and was stunned by the Bengals in overtime, 78-75. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for a team that has bowed just twice since the second week of January. In fact, the previous loss for WSU was a little over two weeks earlier against Sacramento State on the road, 78-75, in overtime as well.
While the Wildcats are all alone atop the Big Sky standings with a record of 11-3, Montana is tied with four other programs for fifth place with an even 7-7 mark. Kicking off a four-game homestand with his matchup, the Grizzlies are coming off a 74-69 setback to North Dakota over the weekend.
Weber State leads the all-time series with the Grizzlies by a count of 66-52, winning the first meeting of the season last month in Ogden, 68-63. However, in games played in Montana, the hosts own a 33-22 edge entering play tonight.
In a game that featured 16 ties and 18 lead changes, the Wildcats found themselves on the wrong side once overtime came to an end in Pocatello on Monday night. Davion Berry kept the visitors in the mix with his 20 points, although he shot just 6-of-19 from the floor and missed all six chances behind the 3-point line. Jeremy Senglin and Richaud Gittens pitched in with 18 and 14 points, respectively, while Joel Bolomboy registered a double-double consisting of 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Over the course of 14 conference games, during which four players have remained mainstays in the starting lineup, the Wildcats are led by Berry with his 20.5 ppg, not to mention handing out 53 assists in order to get teammates involved in the action. Senglin is responsible for another 11.0 ppg as he and Berry combine for 61 made 3-pointers, while Bolomboy (9.6 ppg) cleans up many of the misses with his 12.2 rpg.
Montana made good on an even 50 percent from the field versus North Dakota the last time out, but at the same time allowed the host to convert 50.9 percent from the floor, combined with 17 turnovers, as the Grizzlies landed in the loss column. Kareem Jamar accounted for 18 points, Mario Dunn 17 and Jordan Gregory 16 for the visitors in the setback. Mike Weisner contributed with another 12 points off the bench as he connected on 2-of-3 shots behind the 3- point line.
Jamar, who has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, is cranking out 19.5 ppg in conference play. He is also responsible for not only 5.1 rpg in those league bouts, leading the program, but he is also first with 57 assists as well. Gregory checks in with another 15.4 ppg, thanks in large part to his 85.7 percent accuracy at the free-throw line and that effort has lifted the entire unit to 76.3 percent.
Clearly, one of the top offensive threats in the conference, Jamar can carry a team like Montana, but he'll need plenty of help against a Wildcats crew that is expecting a bounce-back effort following the loss on Monday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 77, Montana 69
02/20 10:20:19 ET