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Weber State cannot afford letdown against Idaho State

Published: Sunday, Feb. 10 2013 6:50 p.m. MST

Weber State head coach Randy Rahe reacts during the basketball game against Brigham Young University in Ogden, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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OGDEN — As the college basketball season tiptoes closer to the month of March, there isn’t time for rest or days off — the pillow can wait but the hoop cannot.

Weber State (16-5, 11-2) certainly can attest to the chaotic schedule as it prepares to play its second game in three days against Idaho State (4-18, 3-10) Monday at 7 p.m. at the Dee Events Center. It will be the second of four games in seven days.

The Bengals are currently in the midst of a six-game slide, which ties their longest stretch of futility on the season. In the first meeting in Pocatello, Weber State picked up the 70-54 win behind Scott Bamforth and Davion Berry, who scored 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Albeit not known for offense, Idaho State is led by guards Melvin Morgan (11.8 ppg) and Tomas Sanchez (10.5 ppg) and forward Chris Hansen (10.8 ppg). The Bengals have only managed to score over 60 points five times this season while WSU is 10-0 when holding teams under the same margin.

Weber State strung together one of its finest defensively performances of the season in its recent win against Southern Utah. The ‘Cats held the Thunderbirds to 29 percent shooting, the lowest mark for both teams this season. The defensive pressure is a huge advantage against the highly outmatched Bengals, who rank last in the Big Sky in scoring production, scoring margin, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, rebounding and rebounding margin.

With the drastic gap in talent level between the two programs, it could potentially inflict unwarranted problems considering the Big Sky game-of-the-year match-up with Montana is looming on Thursday. The key for WSU, which has won five straight over Idaho State in Ogden, is to jump out to an early lead. The ‘Cats are 14-2 when leading at halftime this season.

Wildcats on the Air

Idaho State (4-18, 3-10) at Weber State (16-5, 11-2)

Monday, 7 p.m.

Ogden, Dee Events Center

TV: Altitude 2

Radio: 1280AM

Online video: bigskytv.org

Email: tphibbs@deseretnews.com, Twitter: @tphibbsami

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