GAME NOTES: The Weber State Wildcats are hoping to wrap up the outright regular-season title in the Big Sky Conference tonight, as they tangle with the Portland State Vikings at the Stott Center.
Still with a meeting against Eastern Washington on the schedule this Saturday, the Wildcats enter play on Thursday with a league mark of 13-5, one game ahead of North Dakota which is facing off against slumping Southern Utah tonight. WSU has hit a few sour notes the last several weeks, dropping three of five decisions, the latest of those coming in overtime versus Northern Arizona this past Saturday, 73-71.
As for the Vikings, tied with three other teams (Sacramento State, EWU and Montana State) for sixth place in the Big Sky with a split of 18 decisions, they just finished off a four-game road trip with a third win on Saturday evening against Northern Colorado, 77-68.
The Wildcats not only won the first meeting of the season back on Jan. 4 by a score of 79-62, they've also run their win streak in the series to seven in a row and that in turn has Weber State with a commanding 33-11 advantage. Of the 11 wins for the Vikings over WSU, all but one have come at home.
The Wildcats were hoping to wrap up the regular-season title in the Big Sky but they didn't plan on having their two-game win streak come to an end at home versus NAU. Davion Berry gave it his all as he tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Jeremy Senglin and Richaud Gittens tacked on 18 and 11 points, respectively. Weber State led by as many as five points in the opening moments of the first half, eventually shooting 6-of-12 behind the 3-point line in the period, but ended up trailing at the break by nine, 37-28 and then, when pushed to overtime, tallied a mere three points.
Berry is one of the top performers in the conference this season, pouring in 19.1 ppg, not to mention clearing 4.5 rpg and handing out a team-best 103 assists through 26 games. Senglin steps up with another 11.6 ppg thanks in large part to his 40.3 percent shooting behind the 3-point line where he has combined with Berry to make good on 101 triples. Defensively, the Wildcats have limited opponents to only about 4.5 3-pointers per contest, which is why those teams are being outscored by 7.0 ppg.
Gary Winston scored 22 points and handed out seven assists as Portland State secured the nine-point win over the Northern Colorado Bears in Big Sky Conference play at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion last Saturday night. Also scoring in double figures for the Vikings were Tim Douglas and DaSahun Wiggins with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Kyle Richardson checked in with 10 rebounds and six points for the visitors. The Vikings finished the night shooting an impressive 55.1 percent from the field, not to mention 15-of-19 at the free-throw line.
Thanks to his team-high 45 3-pointers, Douglas paces Portland State in the scoring department with 12.9 ppg, but immediately behind him is Wiggins who adds another 12.8 ppg to the attack. Richardson, who along with Douglas are the only players to have started all 27 games for PSU, gives the group a presence on the glass with 6.0 rpg and is first with 26 blocked shots, but overall the latter category is far from a strong suit for the Vikings as they average barely two rejections per contest.
Portland State should be little more than a minor speed bump for the Wildcats tonight, as they have their sights set on the bigger prize moving forward.
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