The Weber State men’s basketball team bounced back from its season-opening loss to Utah State with a 74-49 win at home against Presentation College on Monday night.
“I thought the guys did a really good job in the second half. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve seen games like this forever. We’ve got such good kids that try really hard, and I thought they tried too hard in the first half that we were tight, and played a little bit frantic,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “I’ve seen it happen forever when you’re coming off a tough half where you didn’t play well, you can’t just flip the switch and immediately play well. It’s a process. And I knew the first half was going to be a little bit of a process, I’m sure everyone up in the stands was wondering why we weren’t killing them or up 20 (points), but I knew it was going to be a process, and I thought the second half, once we settled down and relaxed and just decided to go play then I thought we really played pretty well in the second half.”
The Wildcats got off to a slow start in the first half, shooting 10-25 from the field and only 1-10 from three-point range. Going into halftime, Weber State held a four-point lead over the visiting Saints despite turning the ball over 12 times.
“In the first half, I think we were moving a bit too fast on offense, trying to do one thing but then turning the ball over a little bit more,” said sophomore Kyndahl Hill. “We just needed to settle down, get the jitters out and get back to playing the way we play.”
In the second half, Weber State came out firing and quickly jumped out to an 11-point lead seven minutes into the half. The Wildcats never looked back from that point on, as they blew past the Saints for their first win of the season.
“On defense we took a stand and said that we’re going to stop them, they’re not going to score on us,” Hill said about the team’s second-half performance. “Play hard, play fast, get down on the offensive end and take care of the ball, and do what we need to do.”
Junior Joel Bolomboy led the team to victory with his first double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 20 points and pulling down a game-high 15 rebounds. The double-double was Bolomboy’s 16th of his career, as his 20 points also tied his career-high in a game set last season against North Dakota State. He also had five blocks in the game, the fourth time in his career that he has reached that mark. It was the first time a Wildcat had five blocks in a game since Kyle Tresnak had five against Northern New Mexico College last season.
“Going into the second half, (Presentation College) had the momentum,” Bolomboy said. “And then we came back, came out ready to play and turned it back around.”
Bolomboy was not the only Wildcat with a double-double, as sophomore Kyndahl Hill pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds and 11 points for his first career double-double. Chris Golden and Jeremy Senglin also scored double-digit points in the win, with Golden scoring 10 points while Senglin scored 16 points.
The Wildcats (1-1) will play their next game on the road over 3,000 miles away from Dee Events Center, as they take part in the Paradise Jam Tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The first game for Weber State will take place Friday night at 7 p.m. MST against Illinois State (0-1). If the Wildcats win against Illinois State, they will face the winner of the LSU-Old Dominion match. If they lose, they will face the losing team of the same match. Rahe said that he was looking forward to the tournament, adding that it would be a good experience for the team early in the year that they didn’t have last season.
“Really, really excited about going down there, the fact that we’re going to get three really high-quality games in four days,” Rahe said. “We’re starting to find out about our team now, but we’re gonna find out a whole bunch more after next weekend.”