OGDEN — When Weber State wins a Thursday night conference battle on the road, coach Randy Rahe tells the Wildcats to get greedy, to take one more on Saturday.
After a home win against Northern Colorado on Thursday night, with North Dakota coming to town tonight, Rahe’s message for tonight was similar — he wants more.
Despite holding the Bears to 37.7 percent shooting and forcing 21 turnovers, Rahe is telling the Wildcats again: Get greedy.
“I thought our guys did a nice job,” he said. “I was pleased with our effort, (but) I still think we can get a lot better defensively and we need to before (tonight). When we got our pressure up, we got our urgency up, when we had that, I thought we really bothered (Northern Colorado) and got them to turn the ball over.
“When we didn’t, when we played a little bit back on our heels and just got a little softer, then they got what they wanted and we’ve got to have that sense of urgency on every possession.”
Weber State (8-3, 3-0) will be facing new Big Sky Conference foe North Dakota (4-8, 1-2) for the first time in the teams’ history. Tipoff is at
7 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.
North Dakota joined the league as an all-sports member last July, along with Weber State’s next opponent, Southern Utah. Formerly known as the Fighting Sioux, the school’s teams do not currently have a mascot after lengthy lawsuits forced them to drop the nickname.
Aaron Anderson, a 5-foot-11 point guard, is UND’s top scoring threat, averaging 12.6 points per game. Another guard, 6-foot-1 Jamal Webb, is its top rebounder at 5.0 boards per game.
North Dakota earned its first-ever Big Sky win by knocking off Idaho State on Thursday night.
Anderson and Webb can expect Weber State to come after them.
“That’s kind of what we try to do every game is, we’ve got to put a lot of heat on that point guard,” Rahe said. “When we’re up pressuring the way we want to, it starts with our point guards. … When our pressure’s really good up top, and I thought Jordan (Richardson) and Gelaun (Wheelwright) did a really good job (Thursday), everybody else kind of falls into line.
“Everybody else gets their pressure up and everybody gets more excited, so it starts with them.”
Junior center Kyle Tresnak said the Wildcats need to continue the defensive attacking.
“We need to keep the pressure up, make people feel uncomfortable,” he said.
North Dakota, under coach Brian Jones, hasn’t been able to get comfortable yet this season on the road, where it is 1-6.
Weber State has won four games in a row and seven of its past eight contests.
Senior guard Scott Bamforth is coming off games of 18 and 22 points and has raised his average to 12.3 ppg, second on the team behind junior forward Davion Berry at 12.5 ppg. Berry is also leading the Wildcats in assists at 3.7 per game.
Weber State dished 17 assists and turned over the ball 12 times against Northern Colorado.
“We were passing up good shots to get great shots,” Tresnak said. “We were really moving the ball to make sure it was a good possession and we got a great shot out of it that wasn’t contested or forced.”