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The Weber State University men’s basketball team got a bit of revenge over the weekend when it knocked off Montana State University at home, 69-61.
The Wildcats were led by strong team-shooting and never trailed in the game. As a team, WSU shot 64 percent from the field on its way to the team’s sixth-straight win.
Davion Berry said the players came out with a lot of energy and played hard with a bit of a chip on their shoulders.
“They were tough,” Berry said, “but we knew we owed them something from what happened up there.”
WSU opened up a nine-point lead midway through the first half, but the Bobcats fought back and, thanks to six 3-pointers in the first half, MSU cut the lead to five at the break. Early in the second half, MSU cut the lead to three points.
Having its lead cut seemed to wake up WSU. The Wildcats responded with a 15-2 run. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, WSU had a 16-point lead. From there, WSU was able to close out the game.
WSU ended the game shooting 64 percent from the field, the second-best shooting percentage of the season and the best against a Division I opponent. The Wildcats came into the game leading the nation in scoring and improved their percentage, now shooting 51.3 percent from the field.
Another stat where WSU saw a strong performance was rebounding. The Wildcats outrebounded MSU 27-26 and was 13-16 from the foul line. They had 15 turnovers on the night. The Bobcats knocked down nine 3-pointers, the most given up by the Wildcats this season.
Head coach Randy Rahe said he thought the team performed well and that he was happy the team has bounced back after its two losses earlier this season.
“I was really proud of our effort tonight,” Rahe said. “We’ve played a lot of games in the last few weeks and it’s been a really tough stretch. We were a little low on emotion to start the game, but we were able to find a way to get through it. We were able to make enough plays and knock down some shots.”
Four Wildcats scored in double figures, led by Berry, who had a perfect night. Berry was 7-7 from the field, including 3-3 from the 3-point line, and a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line. He also added five assists and four steals in the win. He has now scored in double figures in eight straight games. Berry was named co-Big Sky Player of the Week.
Junior Jordan Richardson had a season-high 16 points on 7-9 shooting. Frank Otis added 14 points and five rebounds, and Scott Bamforth had 11 points and four assists. Freshman Joel Bolomboy had five blocks off the bench and now has 45 blocks on the season.
The Wildcats remain one game behind the University of Montana in the Big Sky standings with four conference games left. Next Saturday, WSU will have a break from conference play when it takes on Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., in the Ramada Bracketbusters.