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Northern Colorado (18-12) at Weber State (17-11)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: UNC 13-2, WSU 12-2. Away Record: UNC 4-10, WSU 5-9. Neutral Record: UNC 1-0, WSU 0-0. Conference Record: UNC 11-9, WSU 14-6. Series Record: Weber State leads, 12-4.

GAME NOTES: Unlike most of the conference tournaments in college basketball, the Big Sky rewards the top performing team during the regular season by offering that squad an opportunity to host the event.

That's where top-seeded Weber State comes in tonight, as it takes on the Northern Colorado Bears in the semifinals at the Dee Events Center.

The Wildcats, winners of this event a total of eight times, dominated the competition during the regular season, at least in the conference, as they built a 14-6 record in Big Sky action after having a rough start to the non- conference schedule. Should WSU win tonight, it would mean a third straight appearance in the championship round of the tourney, after losing each of the last two years to Montana.

As for the sixth-seeded Bears, a team which won the title back in 2011 but is still only 4-3 in the tourney all-time, they scored an upset in the quarterfinals on Thursday night with a 62-60 triumph over third-seeded Northern Arizona.

In terms of the all-time series between the squads, Weber State leads by a count of 12-4 after they both won on their home floor during the regular season. The Wildcats posted a 79-65 victory here in Ogden in February.

The winner of this meeting heads to the finals on Saturday to face the survivor of the Portland State/North Dakota battle for the right to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Derrick Barden's layup with just over two minutes remaining in regulation on Thursday gave the Bears a four-point advantage against Northern Arizona and eventually proved to be the game-winning score in the close call with the Lumberjacks. Barden finished the meeting with 15 points, shooting 7-of-11 from the floor, followed by Tevin Svihovec and Tate Unruh with 14 and 12 points, respectively, for a squad that connected on 46.2 percent from the floor and just 4-of-12 behind the 3-point line.

Barden continues to head a list of double-digit scorers at this stage of the campaign with his 13.8 ppg, thanks to his impressive 58.1 percent shooting from the floor. Unruh follows with 12.7 ppg, courtesy of 41.7 percent accuracy out behind the 3-point line.

Weber State's Davion Berry was named the league's most valuable player by the coaches as he ranked third in the conference in scoring (19.2 ppg) and also accounted for 4.5 rpg and 4.0 apg, on his way to being a unanimous All-Big Sky First Team selection. Kyle Tresnak (11.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg) was named to the All- Big Sky Second Team, while Joel Bolomboy was recognized as the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year. Bolomboy (8.8 ppg) often sacrificed his own offense in order to provide the team with a huge presence in the paint (10.9 rpg). Picking up Freshman of the Year honors was Jeremy Senglin (11.3 ppg) who shot 40.7 percent behind the 3-point line for Weber State, as they bounced back from a weak opening to the season.

Thanks to the added time to rest and the ability to enjoy familiar surroundings, as well as a biased crowd, expect to see the Wildcats take advantage of all those benefits as they advance in the tourney.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Weber State 73, Northern Colorado 64

03/14 10:39:37 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
CHA 79
IND 88
Final
DET 109
PHI 103
Final
NOP 88
DAL 85
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
MIA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
LAL
SAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
 
Final
ECU 31
UCONN 21
Final
VT 6
MIAMI 30
7:00pm Tonight
CIN
SFLA
7:30pm Tonight
SALABAMA
TROY
9:00pm Tonight
BSU
BYU
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
OREG
Final
BOS 2
NYI 3
Final
DET 4
PIT 3
Final
MIN 2
ARI 0
Final
NAS 3
CHI 2
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
CAL 5
CAR 0
Final
LOS 2
BUF 0
Final
SJS 4
CLB 5
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
VAN
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
CAR
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CLB
 
Final
DEN 35
SDC 21