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The Weber State University men’s basketball team came out with a hard-earned victory on Thursday night against Northern Arizona University to win its eighth-straight game.
The Wildcats faced the Lumberjacks with the momentum of seven straight wins behind them. WSU’s last match and win came against Idaho State University on Monday night, and with their last loss over month ago, the Wildcats have since earned a 7-0 Big Sky Conference record.
The game started off with a high energy level from both sides as they put points on the board at their respective ends of the court. The Lumberjacks jumped on the Wildcats early with a score of 8-4 and held a small lead through the first 10 minutes. As the score grew to 31-30 for NAU with three minutes left in the half, WSU quickly regained control to finish timeout on a 7-0 run.
Going in at halftime, the score read 38-31 in favor of the Wildcats. WSU shot 44.8 percent from the floor, including 57.1 percent from behind the 3-point line. The first 20-minute period offered six lead changes and eight tied scores.
Notable statistics from the first half included 11 points and four rebounds from WSU junior center Kyle Tresnak and nine points from junior forward Davion Berry. Freshman forward Joel Bolomboy also contributed with five points, six rebounds, three blocks and one assist.
To begin the second half, the players came out with an energy comparable to that of the first half. The control of the game, however, seemed to be in favor of the Wildcats from the start. Five minutes into the second period, the score read 47-37 in favor of the Wildcats, and their lead continued to stay near the double digits throughout the game. With five minutes left in the game, the Wildcats were playing with a 13-point lead at 66-53.
With 11 of their last 13 points of the game coming from the free-throw line, the Wildcats finished out the battle with an 83-70 victory.
The game was led by Tresnak, who dropped a career-high 23 points, as well as eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Bolomboy covered the stat board as well with 13 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks and two assists. Berry also contributed with 17 points.
After the game, Tresnak commented on how he was able to put up a career high in scoring.
“Coach (Phil) Beckner was talking to me (during halftime), and he helped me realize what was going on and how to do a couple other things on defense,” he said. “But I feel like that helped me and got us going and got me going, at least.”
Bolomboy, who led the game in rebounds, blocks and steals, said he is motivated by those around him on the court to do big things.
“I have great teammates and good coaches,” Bolomboy said, “and they’re all pushing me to get huge stops and get things going.”
The Wildcats sealed their victory after solid second-half play. Head coach Randy Rahe said that, despite the confusing defensive strategy from NAU, the Wildcats were able to come out for the last 20 minutes and get that extra energy back.
“(NAU) was changing its defense almost every time down the court,” Rahe said. “It was kind of what I thought we’d see . . . but we had to get that little edge back and that urgency back (in the second half), because that’s when we have the chance to be pretty good. If we don’t have that, we’re pretty average. When we have it, we have the chance to be pretty good. That’s the bottom line.”
WSU will return to action against California State University, Sacramento on Saturday night at home. The Wildcats are looking to win their ninth-straight game.