SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been three years since Weber State made the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats, who’ve lost five of their past seven games, will need to reverse their recent fortunes to end that drought when they compete in this week’s Big Sky Tournament at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
The Wildcats (17-14), the tournament’s No. 4 seed, will take on fifth seed Portland State (16-15) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. MDT in the second quarterfinal of the day.
While Weber State has been struggling recently, the Vikings have won seven of their past eight games, including a 12-point win over Big Sky regular-season champion Montana a week ago.
The Wildcats and Vikings split the season series, with Weber State winning at Portland in overtime and Portland State earning a 1-point win in Ogden.
Weber State junior guard Jerrick Harding, who earned Big Sky first-team All-Conference honors for the second straight year, is averaging 21.9 points and 1.7 steals per game and leads the league in free-throw percentage at 87.1 percent.
Portland State sophomore guard Holland "Boo Boo" Woods was named second-team Big Sky All-Conference while leading the Vikings in scoring (14.9 ppg), assists (5.3 apg) and steals (1.6 spg).
The winner of Thursday’s game will take on the winner of No. 1 Montana and No. 9 Sacramento State in the first semifinal Friday at 5:30 p.m.
SOUTHERN UTAH MOVES ON: No. 7 seed Southern Utah used a strong shooting effort, particularly from 3-point range, to rally from an early double-digit deficit to beat Idaho State 94-80 on Wednesday in the first round of the Big Sky Tournament.
After going into halftime trailing 41-40, the T-Birds hit 11 of their first 15 field goals in the second half to build a 13-point lead.Comment on this story
No. 10 seed Idaho State went on a 9-0 run to cut the SUU lead to 4 at one point, but the T-Birds responded. A Brandon Better 3-pointer with 4:18 to play pushed the lead back to 9 points at 79-70 and Southern Utah (15-15) cruised from there.
Andre Adams paced Southern Utah with 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists while shooting 9 of 16 from the field. The T-Birds had five players in double-figure scoring, including Better, who had 17 points and hit five 3-pointers.
The T-Birds shot 53.7 percent from the field for the game and 11 of 15 from 3-point range.
The Bengals were led by Alonzo Walker, who had 17 points and six rebounds.
Southern Utah now takes on No. 2 seed Northern Colorado in the quarterfinals Thursday at 5:30 p.m.