Coming off of a four-game home stand that produced four wins, three in nail-biter fashion, the Weber State University men’s basketball team will head out on the road this week.
But unlike the previous season, when the Wildcats only lost in the state of Montana, this season could prove more difficult than years past.
“You have to take advantage (of home games),” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “In this league this year, you have to hold down the home court the best you can. I still really believe that there is not a game that is safe, whether you are at home or on the road. It’s evidenced by our week. We played three really close ball games.”
The Wildcats have already lost one game on the road this season. They lost by 19 points to the University of Northern Colorado. The Wildcats then bounced back and won on the road at the University of North Dakota.
“This year, every road win is a steal,” Rahe said. “It doesn’t matter who you are playing. The home team will be favored on every road game — they should be. That’s the way the league is. You have to go out and try to find a way, somehow, somewhere. It’s going to be tough.”
Since the win over UND, the Wildcats have been on a five-game winning streak. Three of those games were decided by six points or less. Two key players in the streak have been senior guard Davion Berry and sophomore forward Joel Bolomboy.
“We are definitely coming along (defensively),” Bolomboy said. “We had a period where we were kind of sluggish. We gave up a lot of layups and easy threes and easy baskets. But we are coming along.”
Bolomboy has averaged 9.3 points and 12.8 rebounds over the current four-game home stretch. He leads the Big Sky Conference in rebounding, averaging 10.7 rebounds a game, a two-rebound margin over anyone else.
Berry has been equally impressive over the home stand. He averaged 24.5 points and 4.8 assists, earning himself the title of Big Sky Player of the Week. Berry currently ranks fourth in the Big Sky in points and assists per game respectively.
“He makes everybody better because he is such a versatile player,” Rahe said. “His biggest strength is his versatility. He does everything well. He can shoot it, he can drive the ball, he can really pass it. He has a very high skill level and feel for the game.”
The Wildcats are tied at the top of the Big Sky Conference with UNC with a record of 7-1. With a rematch against the Bears next week, the Wildcats aren’t overlooking their next group of games.
“We just want to take it one game at a time, one day at a time, one practice at a time,” Berry said. “We don’t want to go too far ahead. We are making sure we play together as a team. We can’t overlook anyone.”
While a Big Sky Conference championship is the goal for WSU, just like it is every season, the Wildcats don’t see any game as more important than another. Their mindset is that each game is a must-win.
“We try to win every game — that’s our mentality right there,” Bolomboy said. “It’s just one game at a time. We obviously want to be first, but we just take it one game at a time and try to win every game.”
After playing Northern Arizona University today, the Wildcats will travel to California to take on California State University, Sacramento on Saturday. Tipoff will be at 8 p.m. The game can be heard on 1430 AM and 103.1 FM.