LOS ANGELES — After a relatively slow start to the 2013-14 basketball season, the Weber State Wildcats face one of their biggest tests of the year Sunday night at Pauley Pavilion against the nationally ranked UCLA Bruins.
The Wildcats and Bruins are set to tip off at 5 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks.
Weber State is coming off one of its best overall performances of the year, as it never trailed and had six players score in double figures en route to a 71-point victory over St. Katherine College Tuesday night. It was the largest margin of victory in WSU history.
Meanwhile, the Bruins (9-2) had their hands full with No. 8 Duke and freshman sensation Jabari Parker Thursday night in New York City, eventually falling to the ACC powerhouse, 80-63.
For just the first time this season, the ‘Cats outrebounded their opponent, 59-29, Tuesday night. Their 59 boards are the most rebounds by any team in a single game in the Big Sky this year, and the purple and white will need to continue to control the glass to come out on top Sunday night.
The Wildcats (2-4) keep making their presence felt on the defensive end, as their 4.3 blocks per game continue to lead the Big Sky. Weber State senior Kyle Tresnak is second in the conference at 1.5 per game, while Kyndahl Hill is seventh and Joel Bolomboy sits in eighth.
WSU will continue to rely on the dominant play of Davion Berry, who did a little bit of everything Tuesday night as he finished with 16 points, eight assists, six boards and three steals. His 18.7 points per game average also leads the ‘Cats and is third in the Big Sky.
Weber State true freshman Jeremy Senglin is coming off a career-high 23 points, and will look to keep his hot hand going against the Bruins.
Since opening the season 8-0, UCLA has now dropped two of its last three games, but remains a perfect 7-0 at home.
The Bruins rank near the top of the country in several categories. They are second in field goal percentage (52.9 percent), second in steals (11.2 per game), fifth in assists (18.3 per game) and 11th in points (86.7 per game).
Individually, UCLA sophomore Jordan Adams will look to keep his hot streak alive, as his 20.2 points per game lead the Bruins.
Sunday's game will be Weber State's first contest against a nationally ranked opponent in the last three years.
Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications, and has been a part-time sports reporter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724