Weber State basketball: Wildcats face tough road test vs. Pac-12 Bears

Published: Thursday, Dec. 15 2011 7:57 p.m. MST

Weber State's basketball team will have a lot of things working against it when the Wildcats go up against the University of California tonight at Berkeley, Calif.

The Wildcats (6-2) have just two losses this season, but they've both been lopsided and both have come on the road, including one at another California school, St. Mary's.

Historically, Weber State is 15-45 all-time against current members of the Pac-12 Conference, and 13 of those Wildcat wins have come against the University of Utah. Excluding wins over the Utes, WSU is just 2-19 against the other members of the Pac-12.

Weber State and Cal have both beaten San Jose State, but while the Wildcats barely slipped past the Spartans in a dandy double-overtime duel, the Bears blasted San Jose State by a wide 81-36 margin.

And if that's not enough bad karma for the 'Cats, Cal is undefeated (7-0) at home thus far this season.

Yes, it looks like it could be awfully tough sledding for Weber State, whose only other game against Cal came more than 40 years ago — a 75-65 loss back in December 1970, when longtime Jazz assistant Phil Johnson was the Wildcats' head coach.

Of course, the Bears must contend with Weber State's Damian Lillard, a junior guard who leads the nation in scoring at 26.9 points per game. He also ranks sixth in the nation with 3.5 3-pointers per game.

But Cal will counter Lillard and Co. with a team which ranks among the top 10 nationally in rebounding margin and 3-point shooting, and is 20th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 56.5 points per game.

The Bears are led by sophomore Allen Crabbe's 15.8 ppg, while Jorge Gutierrez adds 12.9 points and five rebounds a game for Cal coach Mike Montgomery, who has piled up 619 career wins as a collegiate coach. Montgomery is no stranger to Weber State, having spent eight seasons (1978-86) as head coach at the University of Montana, where one of his assistants was current Utah State coach Stew Morrill.

Wildcats on the air

Weber State (6-2) at California (8-2)

Tonight, 8:30 p.m. MT

Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.

TV: none Radio: 1280 AM

Email: rhollis@desnews.com

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