Never before has the Weber State basketball team accomplished what this band of Wildcats has done. In 43 years as a member of the Big Sky Conference, Weber State has long been one of the best teams in the league.

In those 43 years, though, the Wildcats have never been at the bottom of the standings with an 0-4 record. Not until this year, anyway.

"We obviously aren't pleased with where we are at but the only thing to do about it is to buckle down and play better at both ends," WSU coach Joe Cravens said. "It seems we get one leak stopped and another springs up somewhere else. This road trip will be a test of our mental state of mind."

The Wildcats (6-11, 0-4) will try to snap their five-game losing streak tonight at Portland State. Tipoff is set for 8:05.

The Vikings, as luck would have it, are in a similar boat as the Wildcats.

With a 7-9 overall record, PSU is also winless in the Big Sky at 0-3.

Portland State is led by a pair of Salt Lake City products, Josh Neeley and Jake Schroeder, as first-year coach Ken Bone seeks to rebuild the team. The senior guard tandem combines to score 18.4 points.

The fact the Vikings are struggling a bit doesn't necessarily give Cravens an overwhelming sense of confidence, though.

"They had a nice five-game win streak with a road win at Oregon," Cravens said. "So they are definitely capable of beating anyone. They aren't big, but they make up for it with some good shooting."

WSU, if it wants to win, must take care of the ball.

Despite shooting a decent percentage last weekend, the Wildcats committed 41 turnovers in two games and suffered from missed rebounding assignments at bad times.

The Wildcats are paced by senior forward Coric Riggs with 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Junior David Patten adds 13.1 points and 5.4 boards.

After playing Portland State tonight, the Wildcats travel to Eastern Washington before facing Idaho State next Saturday.


E-mail: jeborn@desnews.com