Northern Colorado (3-7) at Weber State (7-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 3, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: UNC 2-1, WSU 4-1. Away Record: UNC 1-6, WSU 3-2. Neutral Record: UNC 0-0, WSU 0-0. Conference Record: UNC 1-1, WSU 2-0. Series Record: Weber State, leads 9-3.
GAME NOTES: On the road for the third of four straight games, the Northern Colorado Bears are set to challenge the Weber State Wildcats in Big Sky Conference action at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah on Thursday.
Northern Colorado has won a total of just three games this season and only one of those has come against another Division I opponent (North Dakota, 75-66). Since that victory over UND back on Dec. 21, the Bears have played just one of those game and wound up on the short end of a 51-50 final versus Southern Utah last Saturday.
After this particular game, the Bears also have a stop at Idaho State on Saturday before returning home to face Montana State next week.
As for the Wildcats, they've rattled off three consecutive victories and six in the last seven outings overall. The team was most recently in action against University of the Southwest, an NAIA program from New Mexico, last Saturday and completely dominated the Mustangs in a 110-45 final.
Weber State leads the all-time series by a count of 9-3 and has won all six meetings played in Ogden over the years. Last season, the Wildcats took both encounters which means the squad has now won three in a row over the Bears.
Ahead by seven points early in the second half against Southern Utah, the Bears appeared to be well on their way to a much-needed victory, but in the final moments the team came up short at Centrum Arena in Cedar City. Derrick Barden came up a rebound shy of a double-double for the visitors as he tallied a team-best 12 points, the only starter in double figures, while Emmanuel Addo tacked on 10 points off the bench in the losing cause. A 54.9 percent shooter from the floor, Barden stands as the second-leading scorer for the program after 10 games with his 10.9 ppg, trailing only Tevin Svihovec who, despite shooting an awful 21.4 percent behind the 3-point line, checks in with 11.4 ppg right now for a team that is generating 70.0 ppg.
The meeting with the Mustangs last weekend was an ugly display as the visitors turned the ball over 18 times and shot just 17-of-59 (.288) from the floor as Weber State padded several stats in the process. The Wildcats converted an incredible 76.7 percent from the floor in the first half, including 10-of-14 beyond the arc, and 69.7 percent from the field for the game. Scott Bamforth scored a game-high 18 points, leading five players in double figures for the hosts as he knocked down half of his eight 3-point tries. Royce Williams followed with 17 points and nine rebounds, Joel Bolomboy chipped in 16 points, Davion Berry 15 and Gelaun Wheelwright 12 points for the home team. Because of the outcome, WSU is now scoring 77.3 ppg and holding the opposition to 59.8 ppg. Berry (13.6 ppg) and Bamforth (11.3 ppg) lead the team in scoring, but even though both are shooting less than 50 percent from the floor, the team overall is hitting the mark at 50.2 percent.
The margin of victory may not be as great as it was for the Wildcats against Southwest, but you can be sure that Weber State will still come out on top in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 77, Northern Colorado 61
01/03 10:41:10 ET