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Dusty Baker, #25, in the men’s first home game against Black Hills State on Nov. 5. Baker scored 21 points on seven of eight shooting against UC Davis in the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 24. (Dalton Flandro / The Signpost)

 

The Weber State University men’s basketball team spent the Thanksgiving holiday competing in the annual Great Alaska Shootout, a college basketball tournament hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) every Thanksgiving.

The Wildcats drew University of California, Davis for their first-round game on Thanksgiving day.

Weber State trailed 20–9 early but clawed their way back into the game, shooting 55 percent, including 13 of 25 behind the arc and out-rebounding UC Davis 36–23 to secure an 86–58 victory.

Senior guard Jeremy Senglin totaled 20 points, shooting eight of 14 and four of eight from 3-point range and added five assists and five rebounds to lead the Wildcat effort.

Junior reserve guard Dusty Baker added 21 points on seven of eight shooting, including five of six from long range to help the ’Cats pull away in the second half.

The Wildcats’ starters outscored the Aggies’ 47–25, sophomore guard Cody John adding 12 points and senior forward Kyndahl Hill notching 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

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Cody John, #5, in the men’s first home game against Black Hills State on Nov. 5. John added 12 points against UC Davis in the Great Alaska Shootout on Nov. 24. (Dalton Flandro / The Signpost)

 

The semi-final round pitted Weber State against the Iona Gaels.

After leading early in the game, the Wildcats found themselves running against the wind as they struggled to weather the Iona storm.

Baker led the Wildcats with 12 points off the bench. Hill added eight points and seven rebounds, John added eight points and three assists and freshman guard Jerrick Harding scored a career-high seven points.

Senglin had a season-low six points on the night, and the men combined to shoot just 14 of 39 overall and 3 of 15 from long range.

The loss to Iona sent the Wildcats to the third-place game on Saturday, where they were matched against the University of Buffalo Bulls in a battle between two 2016 NCAA Tournament alums.

The reigning Mid-American Conference champion Bulls drove to a 17–4 lead, but the reigning Big Sky Conference champs clawed their way back into the game, cutting the deficit to four, ending the half at 30–26.

The Wildcats continued to build on their momentum in the second half and took a 60–52 lead with six minutes left before the Bulls came charging back.

With a rebound put-back by the Bulls, Buffalo took a 66–65 lead with 1:35 remaining in the game.

Buffalo senior Blake Hamilton sank a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left on the clock to put the Bulls up 72–68.

Senglin answered seconds later, dropping a fading 3-pointer to put the Wildcats within one with eight seconds left.

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Jeremy Senglin moved into eighth place in WSU career scoring in Saturday’s game. (Source: Weber State Athletics)

 

The Wildcats sent Hamilton to the line for Buffalo with a quick foul, forcing the senior to sink two from the line to preserve the lead for the Bulls.

Weber State pushed the ball to Baker who was subsequently sent to the line after being fouled on his 3-point attempt.

Baker missed the first of three attempts, sank the second and intentionally pushed the third off the back of the iron in hopes of the Wildcats securing the board, but the Bulls came down with it and secured the win 74–72.

Baker set a tournament record 10–11 from behind the arc.

The Wildcats drop to 2–4 on the season and will return home to take on the University of Denver on Dec. 3.

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