OGDEN — After earning a split on its first Big Sky Conference road trip of the season, the Wildcats return home Saturday night to kick off a four-game homestand by taking on in-state rival Southern Utah University.

Weber State is coming off a two-game conference road trip, where it fell to an extremely talented Northern Colorado squad and picked up a win at North Dakota.

In its matchup against UND, four players scored in double figures (led by Jordan Richardson’s 16 points) to help the Wildcats escape with their first road game of the season with a 72-60 win at the Sioux Center.

Weber State has continued to make its presence felt on the defensive end as it continues to sit atop the Big Sky in multiple defensive categories.

The Wildcats (6-6, 3-1) are first in the conference in field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense, while sophomore Joel Bolomboy continues to be a force for the purple and white down low.

Bolomboy leads the conference and ranks 14th in the nation in rebounds per game (10.0) and is sixth in the Big Sky in blocks per game (1.1).

Meanwhile, SUU (1-13, 0-5) opened the 2013-14 season with a quality 85-78 victory over Arizona Christian but has since gone on a 13-game skid and has failed to defeat a Division I opponent yet this season.

The Thunderbirds are most recently coming off a 15-point defeat at Idaho State on Thursday night and own a dismal 0-9 record on the road this season.

SUU has been outscored by an average of 23.4 points per game this season and ranks towards the bottom of the nation in several offensive and defensive categories.

The Thunderbirds sit dead last in the nation in scoring offense (53.6 ppg) and field goal percentage (35.4), and their porous defense doesn’t help the situation.

Southern Utah is surrendering an average of 76.1 points per game and ranks last in the Big Sky in field goal percentage defense, rebounding margin, scoring margin and turnover margin.

SUU does lead the conference in free-throw percentage (73.7 percent) and is anchored by freshman Trey Kennedy, who is averaging 10 points per contest.

Weber State has won seven straight matchups and owns an impressive 17-2 all-time record against Southern Utah.

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The Wildcats and Thunderbirds are set to tip off at 7 p.m. Saturday night at the Dee Events Center.

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

EMAIL: rlove@deseretnews.com