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Weber State University stayed unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play on Saturday night when it knocked off California State University, Sacramento 65-56 at the Dee Events Center.
Scott Bamforth ignited the Wildcats’ offense halfway through the second half with three straight 3-pointers to give WSU the edge.
The WSU players finished the game in double figures as the Wildcats went on to their ninth-straight win.
The Hornets jumped out early, scoring the first five points of the game. Kyle Tresnak got the scoring under way for WSU with a turnaround jumper inside the paint. On WSU’s next possession, Tresnak scored again, this time off of a dunk.
Head coach Randy Rahe said it was a tough game, but that he was proud of the way the team responded after getting off to a slow start.
“It was a battle with Sacramento State tonight, and I knew it would be,” Rahe said. “They are a very talented team and played really hard tonight. We struggled to knock down some shots early, but I thought we really executed well and were able to make some big shots down the stretch.”
The Wildcats took their first lead of the game with 14 minutes left in the half off a Jordan Richardson shot. Then Frank Otis scored on the next possession to build WSU’s lead.
CSUS kept the game close throughout the half, despite the Wildcat offense heating up. Bamforth hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give WSU a five-point lead.
The Hornets kept the pressure on, though, and narrowed WSU’s lead to one with 1:30 left in the game. Richardson hit a three to give WSU a three-point lead going into the half.
At the break, Otis led the Wildcats with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Wildcats struggled from beyond the arc to start the second half. Bamforth and Richardson each missed a pair of threes early in the second half. WSU’s offense as a whole was cold in the second half and went deep into the second half without scoring, until Joel Bolomboy hit a jumper from the wing to give WSU a six-point lead.
Bamforth got things going halfway through the second half, hitting back-to-back threes to extend the Wildcats lead to nine.
Once again, though, the Hornets fought back and pulled within two, but the Wildcats were able to hang on for the win.
“We made a little push and they cut it back to two; we got some stops,” Bamforth said. “We knew that was the only way we could win. We did a great job.”
Bamforth was the Wildcats’ top scorer, with 18 points and seven rebounds. He was 4-8 from the 3-point line. Tresnak had 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Otis contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Bolomboy also had another strong performance in the game, with eight points and three blocked shots. As a team, WSU shot 45 percent from the field.
Now WSU will embark on a four-game road trip: against Montana State University, the University of Montana, the University of North Dakota and Northern Colorado University.