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After its fifth-straight win, the Weber State University men’s basketball team will look to continue its streak against in-state rival Southern Utah University on Thursday in Cedar City.
Head Coach Randy Rahe said he is expecting a challenging gam
e from SUU, and is looking forward to seeing a tough physical game.
“We face another very tough team this week in Southern Utah,” Rahe said, “that has been playing very well. It’s always a tough place to play and they are always very good at home. They are a very physical and strong team and we have to be ready to play.”
The Wildcats have had a strong start to the season and haven’t lost since mid-December, when they lost against Brigham Young University.
Rahe said the team has started the season out well, but still has things it needs to improve upon.
“We still have a lot of areas to improve on and now have to play a lot of games on the road,” Rahe said. “We have to continue to work hard and stay on edge.”
Last week, WSU knocked off new Big Sky member the University of North Dakota. Now SUU is the other new member of the conference. After getting off to a slow start, SUU has recovered and is coming into Thursday’s game on a two-game winning streak.
SUU last knocked off Northern Arizona University and the University of Northern Colorado, and has also defeated UND in conference play. Against NAU, Damon Heuir led the Thunderbirds with 30 points, including four 3-pointers.
Kyle Tresnak is also coming off a strong game for WSU. Against UND, Tresnak tied his career high with 22 points and six rebounds. Davion Berry also had 20 points.
Berry said that while it was nice to get 20 points, his main focus is distributing the ball to his teammates.
“I always want to get my teammates shots,” Berry said. “I love when I get my teammates shots. I love that more than scoring points, so I’m not selfish.”
Recently, WSU has been led by sharp-shooter Scott Bamforth. He was named Big Sky Co-Player of the Week following two strong games last week. Last week, Bamforth hit 10 3-point shots and averaged 20 points in two games. The other co-player of the week was SUU’s Heuir.
Jackson Stevenett and Jayson Cheesman have also played key roles for the Thunderbirds. Stevenett had 14 points last week, and Cheesman has been a strong defensive player for SUU. He is currently the Big Sky leader in blocked shots.
This season, SUU has had wins against San Diego Christian University, UND, UNC and NAU.
WSU is now starting an extended road trip. The Wildcats have consistently been a strong team when home at the Dee Events Center, and will look to pick up a conference win on the road and remain undefeated in the Big Sky.
Rahe said the team has been playing well together so far this season and that he hopes the Wildcats will continue to work well as a team.
“We rebounded and shared the ball very well,” he said. “There were a lot of guys that stepped up and really contributed (against UND), and it was a really good team win, and that’s the way we have to play to be successful.”
After the game against SUU, the Wildcats will stay on the road and take on Idaho State University. Then they will return home to host NAU and California State University, Sacramento.