The Weber State University men’s basketball team kept their postseason hopes alive as they defeated Montana State University 74-71 in Bozeman, Montana Thursday night.
“It was a fun game and our team really fought like crazy,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe in a statement. “They played with a lot of toughness and were able to survive their push at the end. We were able to grind it out and find a way to win. It was a great team win for us.”
The Wildcats never trailed, but the game remained tight throughout all minutes of play. They were able to jump to an early 10-point lead in the first seven minutes of the game for their largest lead of the night.
Coming out of halftime trailing 36-32, the Bobcats put up a fight quickly in the second half, tying up the score in the first few minutes. Weber State was able to bounce back quickly and regain the lead for the remainder of the game. They held a 70-62 lead late in the game when Montana State went on a 6-0 run, but the team netted 4 free throws and sealed the win for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats shot 52 percent from the field and were able to hold the Bobcats to only 42 percent shooting. While Weber State struggled at the foul line, only netting 14-27 free throws, they out-rebounded the Bobcats 41-26 on the night.
Junior Joel Bolomboy led the team in scoring with 21 points overall. He grabbed 12 rebounds on the night and earned his 10th double-double of the season. Freshman Ryan Richardson returned from injury to net 17 points and four 3-point shots, while junior Richaud Gittens helped in the second half by scoring all 12 of his points for the night. Senior James Hajek had a big night for WSU, scoring 11 points and pulling down a career-high nine rebounds.
The Wildcats followed up the win at Montana State with a 74-63 loss at University of Montana on Saturday night. Now sitting at eighth place in the Big Sky Conference standings, Weber State (11-15, 6-9 conference) returns home this Saturday to host Idaho State University (6-21, 3-12 conference) in the first of the Wildcats’ final three games of the season. The Wildcats will end the season hosting Eastern Washington University (20-7, 11-3 conference) on March 7.
Charles can be found tweeting @cbowkstar_91 or cheering his Wildcats on to victory.