In a hard-fought battle, the Weber State men’s basketball team fell to in-state rival Brigham Young University with a score of 73-68.
“I hate saying we won a moral victory, but that’s kind of what happened here,” head coach Randy Rahe said after the loss. “Honestly, we lost. We had a lot of good shining moments on the court, but our efforts weren’t good enough to overcome a really good opponent.”
The Wildcats came out swinging, jumping out to a 5-point lead off of a 12-7 run, but BYU was able to get things going offensively and took their first lead of the game. WSU fought back and moved ahead by seven points late in the first period with a score of 35-28. In the dying minutes of the first half, BYU went on an 11-2 run to head into the break with a 39-37 lead.
The Cougars were able to continue with the momentum and extended the lead to 11 points off a 9-2 run.
“There was an eight minute span between the two halves where we just weren’t playing our game,” coach Rahe said after the game. “Being down by a double-digit score to a team like BYU, there’s a real chance that they will put you away. I give these boys so much credit. They showed so much toughness and grit.”
BYU was able to maintain their lead for the majority of the second half, but with eight minutes left in the game, the Wildcats mounted a comeback attempt. With one minute left in the game, the team was able to narrow the lead down to three points when two late free throws sealed the victory for the Cougars.
Junior Jeremy Senglin led the team in scoring with 20 points, shooting 4-7 from 3-point range and recording four assists. Junior Richaud Gittens added nine points from the bench, and Zach Braxton and Kyndahl Hill both recorded eight points apiece.
“Losing is tough,” Senglin said after the loss. “We are never excited to lose a game. But we worked hard, did all that we could and came up short. Even I felt like I could have done more, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.”
Senior Joel Bolomboy had a positive night for the team, scoring 12 points and recording 12 rebounds and making a key 3-point basket late in the game. This was Bolomboy’s eighth consecutive game recording a double-double.
“Honestly, I wish there was more that I could have done for my team,” Bolomboy said after the game. “They had me doubled up all night, and they made it tough on me, but I still wish I could have done more.”
The team now sits at 5-3 and will begin a big road trip, starting with a game against in-state opponent Utah Valley University on Wednesday night. The team will play two more away games until they face South Dakota State on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.