On Thursday, the Weber State University men’s basketball team will return to the Dee Events Center after a two-game road trip, where it will look to extend its current winning streak against Montana State University.
WSU’s Scott Bamforth said that the game will be a tough challenge for the Wildcats, and that he is expecting the Bobcats to be ready to play and challenge the Big Sky-leading Wildcats.
“Montana State will come in ready to play,” Bamforth said. “Hopefully, we can put two good halfs together and come out with the win.”
Damian Lillard is coming off of a 38-point performance last week against Portland State University and remains the nation’s leading scorer.
MSU will come into the game with an overall record of 7-7. The season has been up and down for MSU. The Bobcats won their first game, then went on a long losing streak, but they have won their last two games of the season. They knocked off PSU at home 86-73, and then went on the road to beat Idaho State University 73-69.
In the game against ISU, the Bobcats never trailed. MSU shot 53 percent overall on the night, and was led by sophomore guard Shawn Reid with 23 points. Reid hit five 3-point shots in the game. The team hit 10 3-pointers in the game.
MSU also played tough defense against the Bengals, holding them to a 40 percent shooting percentage on the night.
For MSU, it has had a balanced scoring attack, with Reid, Xavier Blount and Christian Moon contributing the most to the score sheet for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats also notched up a win over the University of Utah and narrowly lost to Arizona State University earlier this season.
WSU Head Coach Randy Rahe said that the Wildcats will need to shore up their defense and make sure they get the stops they need against MSU. He also stressed the importance of playing tough and physical, something that WSU has focused on lately.
“We have to play tough,” Rahe said, “especially in these conference games.”
The Wildcats have started Big Sky Conference play well, winning their first four conference games of the year. Last week, WSU played two road games, knocking off Eastern Washington University and PSU. The team was lead by Lillard’s 38 points and 21 points from Bamforth.
Bamforth had a big second half during the game against PSU. He scored 19 of his 21 points after struggling in the first half.
Following the comeback win against PSU, Bamforth said that it was an important win for the team, and that everyone came together to win. He said he hopes the team will build upon that win and continue to play together.
“It was a total team effort,” Bamforth said. “We came together in the second half to win. Hopefully against MSU, we’ll play well in both halfs.”
After the game against MSU, the Wildcats will remain at home for two more games and face off against the University of Montana on Saturday, Jan. 14, and Northern Arizona University on Jan. 19.