by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics
Weber State Idaho State Preview
The Weber State Wildcats will continue their road trip, heading to Idaho State to take on the Bengals in the Reed Gym Saturday. The Bengals got the better of the Wildcats in their previous matchup, so Weber State will be looking to get their revenge against their conference rival on the road.
The ‘Cats come into Saturday at an even 11-11, standing in third in the Big Sky with a 6-3 conference record; the Bengals come in at 8-14 after an overtime win against Idaho, elevating them to 5-4, right on Weber State’s tail.
Weber State: -3
A second-half collapse was the detriment to Weber State in their previous duel against Idaho State. After jumping to a 32-25 lead at the half, the Bengals outscored them 42-25, stealing the game at the Dee Events Center. While each team had hiccups offensively, the Bengals’ rally was enough to get them the early victory. Weber State will be looking to redeem itself and grab its momentum back.
Who to Watch
For the Wildcats, watch for Dillon Jones and Junior Ballard. Jones, who has been the rock for this roster on both ends of the floor, was maintained against Eastern Washington, so look for a bounceback game from him. He also struggled against the Bengals in their last showing. Despite his 13-point, 13-rebound double-double, the star forward turned the ball over ten times, so he will be aiming to make amends for his mistakes.
Junior Ballard had a solid scoring night from off the bench. His 13 points were tied with the team-high, adding three steals to his stat line. Weber State has had great depth in scoring, so if Ballard can have a repeat performance, the team can pull out a win on the road.
For the Bengals, look out for Brayden Parker. The Idaho State center terrorized Weber State with his 15 points, shooting five of eight from the field and five of six from the free-throw line. The Wildcats need to slow down the big man, who did this damage in only 20 minutes on the court.
The Wildcats will need to shoot and rebound better this time around against the Bengals. Weber State shot poorly in their previous game, only hitting 35.6% from the field and 15.8% from three. Idaho State sports the sixth-ranked defense in the Big Sky with 71.2 points allowed per game, so the ‘Cats will need to take more advantage in this go around.
The Wildcats also lost the rebounding battle 35-27. Idaho State spread the ball around in terms of boards, while Jones was Weber State’s main beneficiary, so this team will need to step up and play more aggressively.
Weber State will battle Idaho State at 6:00 pm MST Saturday, looking to get back in the win column.
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