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Weber State University’s basketball teams got their first chance to play in front of fans on Wednesday night at the Dee Events Center.
This was the first game for both teams, and it gave the men’s and women’s coaching staffs a chance to see their teams play in a game setting. It also offered coaches a chance to see how their new players would react to playing in front of a crowd.
Head Coach Randy Rahe said his team still needs to improve some things before the start of the season, but that he was happy to see the team get out and have the chance to play in front of a crowd.
“We still have a lot of work to do, especially on the defense side, but it was nice to get out and play in front of a crowd,” Rahe said. “We need these games to be able to see how they play with other players and in front of a crowd, but it was nice to get out and see what we could do. We did some nice things tonight and shared the ball really well.”
The Wildcat team has several new members this year. Junior Davion Berry, who had 18 points on 6-10 shooting, led the Wildcats. He also shot 5-7 from 3-point range and had three rebounds and three assists.
Berry said it felt good to be able to scrimmage and get the feel for playing a real game. He said being able to scrimmage helped him figure out what he needs to work on before the start of the season.
“It was nice to get out and play as a team and work on getting better,” Berry said. “It felt good to play and work on our offense and defense fundamentals, and we’re looking forward to the season.”
The seven players who were on the team last year also played in the game. Senior Scott Bamforth added 15 points, Kyle Tresnak had 11 and Byron Fulton had eight.
Freshman Joel Bolomoboy had four points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. The white team shot 51 percent from the field, with the purple team shooting 42 percent. The Wildcats combined to shoot 8-23 from 3-point land.
The women’s team also got to play its first scrimmage of the season, taking the court on Wednesday night. With nine freshmen, the Wildcats are still trying to figure out who the team’s leaders will be.
Brittney Newcomb established herself as a long-range threat with nine points in the game. Newcomb led the white team in scoring, but right behind her with eight points was junior transfer Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin. Shahid-Martin will have to sit out the year after transferring from St. John’s, where she played in the Sweet 16 a year ago.
Freshman guard Regina Okoye led all scorers with 12 points in the game. The Albuquerque, N. M., native led the purple team to the nine-point victory, but right behind her was teammate Jalen Carpenter. Carpenter finished with 10 points and was the game’s leading rebounder with nine.
Before either game was played, former Wildcat and NBA Trail Blazer Damian Lillard, who attended the event, was welcomed by the PA announcer and received a large ovation from fans.
The Wildcats will play their lone exhibition game on Nov. 5 against Western State Colorado University. The regular season will begin on Nov. 9 against Arizona Christian University. The women’s team will play an exhibition game on Saturday, Nov. 3, against Concordia University, and then will kick off its regular season a week later against Brigham Young University.