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Zach Braxton, 44, dunks the basket against Black Hills State at Weber State University’s Dee Events Center on Nov. 5. (Dalton Flandro / The Signpost)

The Weber State University men’s basketball team brought the pest control Saturday evening, winning their exhibition game against the Black Hills State Yellow Jackets 88–47.

 

The ’Cats demonstrated their well-honed shooting and teamwork abilities, scoring 60 percent of their total shot attempts, utilizing an effective passing strategy to consistently circulate the ball through the net.

By the end of the first half, the Wildcats managed to set up a strong tower defense, exploiting the height of their players to keep the Yellow Jackets far from the net.

Sophomore Zach Braxton and senior Kyndahl Hill displayed their defensive strengths, together making six of Weber’s total eight blocks under the basket.

“We guarded really well in the first half. We had a lot of talk and a lot of energy. Overall, I think we had a good effort as a team,” Braxton said. “Our goal is to get better every practice, every game, and just keep improving so that when March comes around, we are playing our best basketball.”

The Yellow Jackets struggled to complete their passes and follow through on their shot attempts, frequently dropping passes and missing valuable scoring opportunities.

“Going in, we knew this team wanted to shoot 40 3-pointers a game, that’s what their offense is based on,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said. “We are a No. 3 team, meaning we don’t give up 3-pointers up to our opponents.”

In the end, Rahe’s defensive strategy payed off. Weber finished the game giving up only three of the Yellow Jackets’ 12 3-point shot attempts.

The Yellow Jackets fought through to the end of the game, wings broken, scoring only 36 percent of their total shot attempts, despite attempting only six fewer shots than Weber.

“Our whole game plan consisted of keeping them out of the paint,” said Rahe. “We didn’t get sloppy — we kept focused when the game got out of control. Our guys kept focused. They kept working on it.”

Weber State made scoring opportunities out of difficult moments and finished the game scoring 60 percent of their attempted shots.

The Wildcats had many substitutions throughout the game, giving multiple players a chance on the court.

“We got to try some different line-ups tonight and see some different guys,” Rahe said.

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Ryan Richardson, 22, defends against Black Hills State players at Weber State University’s Dee Events Center on Nov. 5. (Dalton Flandro / The Signpost)

Because more players were given time on the court, nine of the 10 players for Weber State that set foot on the court scored eight points or more, each getting his chance at swatting the nest.

Even though each player had a turn in the spotlight when it came to scoring points, the team played as a pack, earning a total of 17 assists versus Black Hills’ total of five.

Overall, this exhibition game was an indicator of how well the team has prepared, but it is also an example of how far the team needs to go in order to keep up against more difficult opponents.

“All I want to see from our guys is how hard we play, how tough we are and how together we are,” Rahe said. “If we keep that, no matter what’s going on, we’ll continue to improve.”

The Wildcats are back at home on Nov. 11 as they take on Antelope Valley at 7 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.

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