WSU to face UND on Thursday

After back-to-back losses, the Weber State University men’s basketball team will be back in action on Thursday when it visits the University of North Dakota.

The Wildcats are coming into the game following losses to Montana State University and the University of Montana last week.

Head coach Randy Rahe said some things the team needs to improve upon after the two games in Montana were evident.

“We didn’t take care of the ball in the second half (against MSU), and that’s something we have to correct,” Rahe said.

The Wildcats fell behind in the first half, but were able to recover and regain the lead after halftime. In the end, they couldn’t hold on against the Grizzlies. Rahe said the team will need to avoid getting into foul trouble.

“We came in with a good mindset and attitude,” Rahe said. “We got off to a good start, but then had some foul trouble in the first half that hurt us.”

Last week, UND pulled off a come-from-behind win over Northern Arizona University. In the game against the Lumberjacks, UND trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half, but, thanks to a strong second half, it was able to complete the comeback and take an 81-79 win.

UND’s Troy Huff scored 26 points and pulled in eight rebounds in the game. UND went on a 32-10 run to begin the second half and help secure the victory over NAU.

Aaron Anderson also had a strong game for UND against the Lumberjacks. He finished the game with seven points and 10 assists in the win.

Earlier in the month, the two teams met in Ogden, and WSU took an easy 95-63 victory. That game saw a good shooting performance from Scott Bamforth, who hit five 3-pointers in the game. The top player for UND was Anderson, who scored a career-high 23 points in the game.

UND struggled in the first half of the game earlier this year, shooting 2-28 from the field in the first half. The Wildcats had another strong shooting performance in that game, finishing the game with a 55.9 shooting percentage.

The Wildcats started the Big Sky season off strong, winning their first nine conference games, but hit the first road bump of their season last week when they lost by five points to MSU. Two days later, they dropped another close game, this time losing to conference rival UM by two points.

Despite losing against the Grizzlies, WSU had a strong shooting performance, shooting 59 percent from the field in the second half of the game.

So far this season, UND is 5-5 in Big Sky play and 8-12 overall.

Rahe said the team needs to step up and start playing better to snap the two-game losing streak.

“We still have a lot of areas to improve on . . . We have to continue to work hard and stay on edge,” he said.

Following the game against UND, the Wildcats will stay on the road and head to Colorado, where they’ll face the University of Northern Colorado on Saturday. After that game, WSU will return home and start a four-game home stand when it hosts Southern Utah University.