Oral Roberts (20-14) at Weber State (28-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 27, 9:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: None. CIT Record: Oral Roberts 2-1, Weber State 3-1. Series Record: Weber State leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: A pair of non-conference squads are set to meet for the second time in just over a month as the Weber State Wildcats host the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles as part of the quarterfinals of the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Tournament at the Dee Events Center.
These two squads met just last month as part of the annual BracketBuster event, with the Wildcats pulling out a 70-66 win on the road in Tulsa as Kyle Tresnak scored a game-high 20 points for the visitors, leading four starters in double figures. Shawn Glover accounted for 16 points as he paced four ORU performers in double figures as well.
Representing the Big Sky Conference in this tourney, the Wildcats began the event with an 85-43 blowout against Cal Poly last week and continued with a 78-57 thrashing of Air Force on Saturday. Outside of their 67-64 loss to Montana in the title game of the Big Sky Conference Tournament, the Wildcats have been untouchable since late January, putting up a record of 15-1 during that stretch.
Now showing a mark of 28-6 overall, Weber State has established a new program record as well as conference high-water mark for wins in a single season.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles have bounced back well from their loss to Sam Houston State (58-55) during the Southland Conference Tournament two weeks ago by defeating Texas-Arlington in the first round of this tourney last Wednesday, 84-76. On Monday night, the team had an easier time of it when hosting UC Irvine at the Mabee Center, putting up a 76-62 final in order to advance.
Thanks to the narrow victory in February over ORU, the Wildcats have now won three straight between the squads and own a 3-2 edge in the all-time series as a result.
The winner of this meeting will move on to the semifinals of the event beginning later this week against an opponent to be determined.
On Monday night, the Golden Eagles scored the first points of the game against UC Irvine and never looked back, leading by as many as 19 five minutes into the second half. Steven Roundtree led four players in double figures as he not only tallied 21 points, he also pulled down 13 rebounds, handing out four assists and made three steals. Glover responded with 16 points and six boards, D.J. Jackson 11 points off the bench and Damen Bell-Holter with 10 points, six boards and four blocked shots as the team survived a meager 1-of-12 shooting beyond the arc by outscoring the Anteaters at the free-throw line, 23-8.
Warren Niles still leads the team in scoring after 34 games with his 18.9 ppg, but against UCI he shot just 3-of-12 from the floor, 1-of-7 behind the 3-point line, en route to just nine points. Bell-Holter (15.4 ppg) paces the group with 9.4 rpg, which should be reason enough to keep him from moving out to the perimeter on offense where he has shot just 4-of-17. Besides, Niles tends to have that area covered with his team-best 94 3-point baskets, which are more than half the team's total of 160 on the campaign.
In addition to the offense lighting up Air Force with 53.6 percent accuracy from the floor in the second half, the Wildcats also limited the Academy to a mere eight field goals over the final 20 minutes, including 2-of-12 behind the 3-point line. Kyle Tresnak and Scott Bamforth both tallied 21 points for WSU, the former shooting 9-of-10 from the field and the latter hitting on 5-of-13 beyond the arc. Gelaun Wheelwright tacked on 10 points as well.
Bamforth and Tresnak are second and third on the team in scoring, posting 13.7 ppg and 11.8 ppg, respectively, with both trailing Davion Berry who has not only generated 14.9 ppg but also handed out a team-best 121 assists. Berry has knocked down 41.3 percent from 3-point range (52-of-126) and Bamforth is another prime sniper for the group with his impressive 45.1 percent accuracy (92-of-204) for a group that is one of the strongest perimeter teams in the nation (.420) and is also one of the most accurate shooting teams from the floor overall at 50.9 percent.
Weber State is tough enough to contend with these days, but to do so in Ogden is almost certainly going to sting the Golden Eagles, especially since Oral Roberts lost at home to WSU earlier in the campaign.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 83, Oral Roberts 72
03/27 10:31:26 ET