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The Weber State University men’s basketball team continued its impressive level of play on Monday night after a solid victory over Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.
With the win against the Bengals, the Wildcats have now come out victorious for seven straight matches, including a 6-0 record to boast for their Big Sky Conference play. The previous winning-streak season high for WSU was three straight games. The team’s last loss came on Dec. 15 when the Wildcats played Brigham Young University at home in Ogden.
Last season, the Wildcats saw their 10-game winning streak snapped by the Bengals. ISU handed WSU its first Big Sky Conference loss on Jan. 28, 2012 with a 3-point buzzer-beater to close the game with a score of 64-62.
The Wildcats put some closure on last season’s loss with their strong victory against the Bengals.
The game began with an offensive surge from WSU. After beginning the game with a 12-5 run, however, the Wildcats saw the lead slip away. The Bengals went on a run to gain the lead at 17-16 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
The teams were scoring evenly throughout the rest of the period. At halftime, WSU held a two-point lead with a score of 28-26.
Notable first-half team statistics for the Wildcats included shooting 11-for-22 from the floor at 50 percent, as well as 4-for-10 from the 3-point line. WSU junior Davion Berry contributed with 12 points.
WSU came out with a bang to begin the second half of play after ISU tied the game at 28-28. The Wildcats went on a 12-2 scoring run and saw a lead of 42-30 after only the first five minutes. Eight of the 12 points scored by WSU came from WSU senior guard Scott Bamforth.
After a short offensive burst from the Bengals that cut the deficit to seven points, WSU put the game away and created a 15-point lead with a score of 52-37. With only 10 minutes left in the second half, the Bengals couldn’t make up the lost ground. WSU closed out the game and won with a score of 70-54.
The Wildcats were pushed by Bamforth, who finished with 17 points — all in the second half. Berry contributed to the team with 16 points. WSU junior Kyle Tresnak finished with eight points and nine rebounds, and senior center Frank Otis added eight points and eight rebounds. Both Bamforth and Berry shot 3-for-6 from behind the arc, and the team held a 55.8 scoring percentage.
WSU head coach Randy Rahe said the team came out with a different mindset in the second half in order to put the game away.
“We made some adjustments in the second half and took care of the ball and did a much better job of executing our offense,” said Rahe in an interview with WSU Athletics after the game. “We got some stops on the defensive end and had several players get going in the second half. It was as good team effort with everyone contributing.”
Perhaps the most valuable of contributions came from Bamforth and his 17 points during the second half. Bamforth gave credit to the team’s ability to handle the ball as well as its intensity.
“We came out more aggressive in the second half and took better care of the ball,” Bamforth said. “We ran our offense better and were able to get the shots to drop.”
The Wildcats will play a pair of matches at home this week. The team will take on Northern Arizona University on Thursday night and will then return on Saturday night to play California State University, Sacramento. The team’s last loss came on Dec. 15, when it played BYU at home in Ogden.