Weber State basketball: Wildcats aim to cut Lumberjacks down to size

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 9 2011 9:03 p.m. MST

WSU team page

Big Sky standings

OGDEN — A couple of weeks ago, Weber State and Northern Arizona were afterthoughts in the Big Sky Conference. They were both well behind conference leaders Northern Colorado and Montana and had little hope of making much noise.

Now, they're the two hottest teams in the league.

The Wildcats and Lumberjacks, who play in the Dee Events Center tonight, are playing their best basketball of the season. Weber State has won three straight games, while Northern Arizona is on a four-game winning streak. The Lumberjacks beat Portland State, Northern Colorado, Montana State and Montana — all by double digits.

"They are on a roll right now," Weber State coach Randy Rahe said of the 'Jacks. "They have had six of their last eight at home and have built up a good head of steam."

The Wildcats have done the same thing. After guard Scott Bamforth beat Northern Colorado on a 40-footer at the buzzer, Weber State demolished Montana and Montana State last week.

The Wildcats — and the Lumberjacks — each have four league losses but remain in the conference title race. The two teams are tied at 6-4 in Big Sky play, trailing Northern Colorado by two games and Montana by one game.

Weber State will be looking to sweep the Lumberjacks after beating them in Northern Arizona earlier this season. It won't be easy tonight, as Northern Arizona is loaded with talent and playing excellent defense in recent games. In their last three games, the Lumberjacks have allowed an average of just 49.3 points per game.

And with Weber State's Damian Lillard out for the season, Lumberjacks guard Cameron Jones is probably the league's best all-around player. He averages 19.4 points per game.

Stallon Saldivar, a former state MVP at Judge Memorial and starting point guard for Northern Arizona, leads the Big Sky in assists at 6.2 per game.

"Stallon Saldivar has done a great job of running the team at the point guard position," said Rahe. "He makes very good decisions with the basketball."

Tonight marks the end of a four-game homestand for the Wildcats. Four of their last six games will be on the road, starting with Eastern Washington on Saturday.

Wildcats on the air

No. Arizona (14-8, 6-4 Big Sky) at Weber State (12-9, 6-4)

Today, 7:05 p.m.

Dee Events Center, Ogden

TV: None Radio: 1430 AM

e-mail: aaragon@desnews.com

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