Weber State basketball: Wildcats eye first NCAA tournament berth since 2007

By Ryan Love

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 13 2014 9:52 p.m. MDT

Weber State's Davion Berry looks on against UCLA during an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Danny Moloshok, AP

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OGDEN — With an invitation to the NCAA tournament on the line, the Weber State Wildcats look to punch their ticket to the Big Dance by winning the Big Sky Conference tournament in Ogden this weekend.

Weber State clinched its 21st Big Sky Conference regular-season title by knocking off Eastern Washington 82-78 last Saturday. The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 14-6 conference record despite dropping two of their last three games.

WSU hasn’t won the conference tournament since 2007 and is looking to advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years.

The purple and white will need big-time performances from senior star Davion Berry, who was recently named the Big Sky MVP and made the all-conference first team, as well as freshman sensation Jeremy Senglin and sophomore standout Joel Bolomboy.

Berry has been Weber State’s top performer all year long, as he led the ‘Cats in scoring 19 times during the season, including 15 of the last 16 games.

He currently ranks third in the Big Sky in scoring at 19.2 points per game. Berry also leads WSU in assists (4.0 apg), free-throw percentage, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Senglin was named the Big Sky Freshman of the Year and leads all freshmen in the conference in scoring (11.3 ppg), while also leading the Wildcats in 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers made per game.

Meanwhile, Bolomboy is a powerful force and double-double machine down low for the ‘Cats, as he was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year and earned honorable mention all-conference honors.

Bolomboy led the Big Sky and ranks fifth in the nation in rebounding (10.9 rpg), while also recording a Big Sky-best 10 double-doubles throughout the season. He averaged 8.8 points per game while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.

Heading into the Big Sky tournament, Weber State leads the conference in several categories. The ‘Cats lead the conference in scoring defense (66.5), scoring margin (plus-6.4), field goal percentage defense (.422), 3-point field goal percentage (.389), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.336) and rebounding margin (plus-3.6).

The top seven teams in the conference standings advanced to the Big Sky tournament, and the Wildcats will take on sixth seed Northern Colorado, the lowest remaining seed from Thursday night’s games, on Friday night at 7 p.m. inside 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

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