Wildcats to host Wolverines

<img class="size-medium wp-ima

ge-28676″ title=”20121105Basketball Game (Whitney Young)-18″ src=”http://www.wsusignpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/20121105Basketball-Game-Whitney-Young-18-200×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”200″ height=”300″ /> (Photo By Whitney Young)
Joel Bolomboy dribbles the ball.

After a road win last week, the Weber State University men’s basketball team has returned home to face Utah Valley University on Wednesday.

This will be the sixth time the teams have met. WSU holds a 3-2 record over the Wolverines and has never lost to UVU at home.

After nearly a month on the road, the Wildcats are back home for a three-game home stand. WSU has a strong record at the Dee Events Center, with 18 straight wins at home — currently the fourth-longest home winning streak in the country. WSU finished a perfect 16-0 at home last season, the best home record in school history. The Wildcats are 394-100 all-time at the Dee Events Center. Under coach Randy Rahe, the Wildcats are 76-11 at home.

Last week, the Wildcats traveled to the University of Dayton and came away with their first road win of the year. WSU trailed by five at halftime, but was able to come out on top in a back-and-forth game. Kyle Tresnak led the Wildcats in the win with 16 points and seven rebounds. Scott Bamforth also played well against the Flyers with 15 points.

Rahe said he thought the win was important for WSU and showed the kind of team it can be.

“I was extremely proud of how hard we fought in a very difficult environment at Dayton,” Rahe said. “We fought back after being down and showed a lot of toughness down the stretch.”

The Wildcats also saw a strong performance from freshman Joel Bolomboy. In his fourth college game, Bolomboy racked up seven points, 10 rebounds and one block.

WSU has a handful of young players this year, and Tresnak said the Wildcats are starting to come together and play better as a team.

“We’ve got a lot of new guys we’re trying to mesh (with), but it’s getting better and better,” Tresnak said.

After four games, WSU is leading Big Sky Conference teams in scoring margin, 3-point defense, offensive rebounding and assists. The Wildcats are also second in the conference and seventh in the nation in 3-point percentage. Jordan Richardson is leading the Big Sky Conference in field goal percentage, Bolomboy is second in the conference in rebounds, and Tresnak is third in the Big Sky in blocked shots.

UVU is coming into the game with a 4-5 record. The Wolverines are also coming off a close win. Last week, they defeated Pepperdine University 67-63 in overtime. UVU has also notched wins against Big Sky team Eastern Washington University, beating the Eagles 86-83 in Orem.

The Wolverines have held their opponents to 29 percent shooting from the 3-point line, but have been outscored by an average of five points per game and out-rebounded by 2.3 rebounds per game.

Ben Aird leads UVU with 13.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. Alfonzo Hubbard is averaging 9.6 points and four rebounds per game, and Nick Thompson is averaging 9.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

UVU was 20-13 last season, finishing 9-1 in Great West Conference action and advancing to the Collegeinsider.com Tournament, where it lost to WSU.

Rahe said he Is expecting a hard game against UVU. He said his team will have to be prepared for a challenging game.

“Utah Valley is a very tough, physical, hard-nosed team that is extremely well coached,” Rahe said. “They will play very hard and we will have to be ready to compete.”

The head coach of the Wolverines is former WSU player Dick Hunsaker. He played basketball and graduated from WSU in 1977 with a degree in psychology. He later was an assistant coach for the Wildcats under Neil McCarthy. In 1985, Hunsaker was named WSU Alumnus of the Year.

After Wednesday’s game, WSU will remain in Ogden to take on the University of California, Irvine Anteaters this Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. WSU will then close out the home stand against Brigham Young University on Dec. 15.

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