Despite tough play and a late comeback attempt, the Weber State men’s basketball team fell to the Aggies of Utah State University 73-70 in their season debut.
“This was a veteran squad that played tough all game long,” WSU Head Coach Randy Rahe said. “We knew coming into this game they would be that way and so we tried to prepare accordingly. Tonight we were just behind by that much.”
The Wildcats started the game on a 9-2 run and continued to hold on to their lead until the halfway point of the first half, when solid play from the Aggies gave them a slight edge over the Wildcats with a score of 17-15. The score fluctuated for the rest of the half, but the Aggies held the edge going into half with a score of 35-32.
In the second half, the Wildcats came out strong and regained the lead going on a 5-0 run. The game continued to be a tug-of-war, with a total of eight different lead changes happening in the second half.
Toward the end of the second half, WSU went up by four points with 8:38 left to play, but Utah State went on a 15-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 69-60 lead with 3:39 left in the game.
The Wildcats came back and in the last three minutes went on a 10-1 run to bring the score to 71-70, with the Wildcats in scoring opportunity. The Aggies were able to get the ball back and make two free throws to seal the win 73-70 for the Aggies.
Junior Jeremy Senglin and senior Joel Bolomboy both led the team in scoring with 20 points apiece. In addition to the 20 points scored by Bolomboy, he led the team in both rebounds and assists, with 12 and three respectively, and an overall shooting percentage of 60 percent. Senglin led the team in 3-point shooting, making three on the night.
“They played real physically and we tried hard to match that,” Bolomboy said after the game. “We lost and now our focus is to work harder and improve where we need to. We don’t like to lose, and so we will learn from this loss”
The rest of the team and the coaches echoed that desire of not wanting to lose, as well as the mentality of moving forward after the loss.
“We set up a tough preseason schedule for a reason,” Rahe said. “And I am excited to see what happens. We have a tough game on the road coming up and this team-I like the pieces, I like their character and I am really excited to see how they bounce back and see what resolve and toughness that they show.”
The team plays next on Nov. 16 at South Dakota State University and the returns home to face the University of Antelope Valley Thursday at 7 p.m.