Weber State, Utah Valley basketball: Wildcats set to battle in-state rival UVU
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
OREM — After bad weather cancelled their trip to UT Arlington last weekend, the Weber State Wildcats remain in state to take on Utah Valley Wednesday night at 7 p.m. inside the UCCU Center in Orem.
The ‘Cats (1-3) are just one of four teams in the country who have played less than five games so far this season, and Wednesday's contest will be their first in 11 days. In WSU's last outing, it picked up its first win of the season by knocking off San Jose State, 72-55.
Weber State senior forward Davion Berry continued his star-studded play against the Spartans, as he sparked the Wildcats to their first win with a powerful 20-point, six-assist night.
Berry currently leads WSU and is fourth in the Big Sky in scoring (19.0 ppg) and fifth in the league in assists at 3.5 per game.
So far, Weber State has done an exceptional job of showing poise and executing the small things. It will need to continue to do so to come away with a win against the Wolverines (3-5).
The ‘Cats currently lead the Big Sky in both turnover average per game (9.8) and blocks per game (4.5). In addition, the purple and white have committed the fewest turnovers (39) of any team in the nation.
One area Weber State will have to improve on come Wednesday night is rebounding. In each of their first four games this season, the Wildcats have been outrebounded, landing them eighth in the Big Sky in rebounding margin at minus-5.0 per game. In eight seasons under head coach Randy Rahe, the ‘Cats have amassed a record of 109-19 when outrebounding their opponent.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines are coming off a dominant 89-37 victory over Saint Katherine College, snapping a five-game skid in the process. Since getting off to a hot start by winning its first two games, UVU has dropped five of its last six games.
The Wolverines will be led by freshman forward Zach Nelson, who is averaging 12.0 points, 5.6 assists and 3.2 assists per game, and senior center Ben Aird, who was named to the preseason All-WAC team.
The last time these two teams met, Weber State cruised past Utah Valley to pick up a 89-56 home victory.
The Wildcats own a 4-2 overall record against the Wolverines and have won the last three meetings. This will be Weber State’s first game in Orem in eight years. It has never won on UVU’s home floor. Utah Valley is currently 3-0 at home this season.
Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications, and has been a part-time sports reporter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724
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