Weber State (19-5) at Oral Roberts (17-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mabee Center (11,300) -- Tulsa, Oklahoma. Television: None. Home Record: WSU 12-1, ORU 9-3. Away Record: WSU 7-4, ORU 7-5. Neutral Record: WSU 0-0, ORU 1-2. Conference Record: WSU 14-2, ORU 12-3. Series Record: Series tied, 2-2. .
GAME NOTES: The Weber State Wildcats will put their six-game winning streak on the line as they visit the Mabee Center for a non-conference bout with the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles as part of the annual BracketBuster event.
This will be just the fifth meeting between these schools on the hardwood in history. The series is tied, 2-2, after Weber State's 115-80 victory in the last meeting in December of 1991.
Weber State has managed to produce another stellar season despite losing its star Damian Lillard to the NBA. The Wildcats are coming off of a 69-61 decision over Montana State that improved them to 19-5 on the campaign and put them just one game back of the Montana Grizzlies for first place in the Big Sky Conference race. Davion Berry has stepped into a leadership role to post 14.9 points, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per outing. The Wildcats are one of the most dynamic teams on the offensive end in the NCAA as they are 19th among Division I programs in points per game (76.3) on a nation-leading 51.3 percent shooting from the field.
Berry submitted a perfect shooting display in Weber State's win over Montana State as he connected on all seven of his field goal tries, made 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and converted all four of his free-throw attempts en route to a game-high 21 points. Jordan Richardson and Frank Otis added 16 and 14 points, respectively, as the Wildcats poured in 64.1 percent of their field-goal attempts. Montana State was limited to 40 percent field-goal efficiency. Weber State is one of the few teams in the country leading its conference in both scoring offense (76.3) and scoring defense (60.9).
The Golden Eagles are riding a three-game winning streak of their own after their 94-65 rout of Central Arkansas on Tuesday. Damen Bell-Holter recorded a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards to lead the charge, while Warren Niles (16 points) and Shawn Glover (13) also managed to reach double figures. Steven Roundtree also posted a double-double with 13 points and the same number of rebounds to help ORU rise to a 17-10 overall record which includes its 12-3 mark versus Southland Conference opposition.
Niles is netting a team-best 19.1 ppg on 46.4 percent shooting from the field to pace the Golden Eagles in the scoring column, but the team receives significant contributions from Bell-Holter (16.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg) and Glover (14.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg) on a regular basis as well. The trio has helped ORU to a scoring offense mark of 71.2 ppg, while the squad allows its foes to produce 66.7 ppg. ORU is going to be a difficult test for Weber State on Saturday, as it enters with a 9-3 record at home after victories in its last seven games at the Mabee Center.
The Wildcats will need a huge effort out of their 6-foot-10, 255-pound center Kyle Tresnak in this one as he will have to deal with Bell-Holter in the paint. Weber State may be able to take advantage of ORU's freshmen backcourt, but it will need to make a solid effort on the glass to keep the possessions close to even.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 73, Oral Roberts 68
02/23 10:38:33 ET