Portland State (8-18) at Weber State (22-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 7, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: Portland State 8-6, Weber State 12-1. Away Record: Portland State 0-12, Weber State 10-4. Neutral Record: Portland State 0-0, Weber State 0-0. Conference Record: Portland State 5-13, Weber State 15-2. Series Record: Weber State leads, 31-11.
GAMES NOTES: The Weber State Wildcats are still in the hunt for a regular season title in the Big Sky Conference when they host the Portland State Vikings in a league tussle at the Dee Events Center on Thursday night.
For Portland State, not only is a regular season title out of the question but so is a conference tournament championship. The Vikings were eliminated from inclusion in the seven-team field for the Big Sky Conference Tournament earlier this month. The Vikings are just 8-18 overall and ahead of only Idaho State in league play with a mark of 5-13. It is that Bengals team that will be butting heads with the Vikings in Saturday's season finale.
There is a slim chance Weber State can still win the Big Sky Conference regular season crown and the No. 1 seed in the conference tourney. The Wildcats need wins in the next two games while also needing current conference leader Montana to drop its final two games to do so. Weber State is an impressive 22-5 overall, holding a 16-2 mark among league foes. At home, where they finish the season against Northern Arizona on Saturday, the Wildcats have earned 12 wins in 13 tries.
Weber State scraped by with a 73-69 win at the Stott Center in this season's only matchup between these teams. The Wildcats' victory was the fifth straight in the all-time series which they have dominated, 31-11.
Portland State couldn't get enough stops as it bowed to Northern Colorado, 85-75, last Saturday. The Vikings allowed the Bears to shoot 53.3 percent from the field including a 10-of-22 showing from the perimeter. Aaron Moore scored a team-high 20 points off the bench to pace Portland State.
The Vikings' defensive struggles have been well documented this season. They are allowing 72.5 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting which are both among the 50 worst marks in the conference. Moore (13.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg) connects on 52.8 percent of his shots from the field and leads the Vikings in both points and rebounds. Moore is one of four different players scoring in double figures for the Vikings. Renado Parker (11.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is another strong frontcourt performer. In the backcourt, Michael Harthun (11.3 ppg) and Lateef McMullan (10.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) handle the duties in the backcourt.
Davion Berry hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining to force overtime and the Wildcats were able to pull out an 80-78 win in the extra session against Northern Arizona. Berry finished with 25 points in the contest and Scott Bamforth added in 20 points.
It has been Berry (15.3 ppg) and Bamforth (13.1 ppg) leading the way for the Wildcats all season. Berry is netting 50 percent if his shots from the floor, while also leading the team in assists (3.7 apg). Bamforth shoots efficiently as well (.459). Kyle Tresnak (11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Rank Otis (9.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are each finishing on better than 55 percent of their shots from the floor, while anchoring the team in the frontcourt. As a team, the Wildcats have been sensational scoring 76 points per game, while shooting the second best percentage from the floor (.510) in the nation.
Weber State scores better than any team in the conference and has defended its home court admirably with a 12-1 record at Dee Events Center this year. Expect the Wildcats to grab win No. 13 at home on Thursday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 81, Portland State 68
03/07 10:35:00 ET