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Ogden • As much as Weber State coach Randy Rahe looked at last Saturday's BracketBusters game as an inconvenience, the victory may have done the Wildcats some good.
As WSU prepares for the final stretch run for a Big Sky Conference championship with a pair of road games at Northern Colorado on Thursday and Montana on Tuesday, the Wildcats learned a valuable lesson in their narrow victory against UT-Arlington's constant pressure.
"This was a good game for us," Rahe said. "We haven't seen this style for a long time. It was an intense basketball game and that's what these next games are going to be. There's a lot riding on them."
Yet, no matter what happens at Northern Colorado (9-17, 5-9) on Thursday at 7 p.m., it is the final game at Montana that ultimately will decide the Big Sky Conference regular-season title.
Weber State (22-4, 13-1), tied with Montana for the league lead, defeated the Grizzlies in Ogden earlier this season. If the Wildcats lose Thursday to fall a game behind but go on to defeat Montana, they will own the tie-breaker.
"We like challenges," WSU guard Damian Lillard said. "A lot of people don't think we'll be able to go on the road and win two. Everything depends on these last two games, especially if we can win the game at Northern Colorado. Everything is on the line against Montana.
"I don't think anybody in our program would have it any other way."
Weber State at Northern Colorado
P At the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (Greeley, Colo.)
Tipoff • Thursday, 7 p.m.
TV • None
Radio • 1280 AM
Records • UNC 9-17, 5-9, WSU 22-4, 13-1
All-time series • WSU, 8-3
Last meeting • WSU, 93-81 (Feb. 4)