The Weber State University men’s basketball team secured a victory over the Idaho State University Bengals by a score of 96–74 on Jan 27 at the Dee Events Center.
In their first home game in nearly two weeks, the Wildcats played their second game against Idaho State in only three days, the first coming Jan. 25, with an 85–73 win for Weber in Pocatello.
“What we’ve been through the last eight days has been really difficult,” WSU head coach Randy Rahe said of their road trip.
The game began with a quick dunk from the Bengals, but Weber soon answered with a pair of 3-pointers to take an early lead that lasted for the rest of the game.
Foul trouble pained Idaho State early in the game. After finding themselves in the bonus with over 10 minutes to play in the first half, the Wildcats took advantage of the opportunity by scoring nine points from the free throw line before the halftime.
The Wildcats won the shooting battle, with 56 percent from the field as well as 88.5 percent from the free throw line, compared to a 38.9 field goal percentage and a 68.2 free throw percentage from the Bengals.
Three-point shooting was a factor, as usual, for the Wildcats. Weber State shot 56.5 percent from long range, dropping 13 3-pointers, just one fewer than their last game against the Bengals.
Despite the difference in shooting percentages, Idaho State dug in to keep the score close, ending the first half with a score of 45–36.
The second half began with a short delay as center court was dried off after the half time entertainment, which was reminiscent of the weather delay on Jan. 7, when wind and snow created a leak in the roof of Idaho State’s Holt Arena, causing the game to be suspended and later made up on Jan. 25.
Idaho State began the second half with a 7–0 run to cut the Weber State lead to only two points, but the Wildcats caged the Bengals with a 20–5 run to increase their lead to 17.
Rahe spoke about his team being tired, having played such a long stretch on the road, but he said he was proud of the way they played in this game, especially having played the Bengals just two nights ago.
“This one’s not about X’s and O’s,” Rahe said. “This one is about energy, toughness, togetherness and resiliency.”
Bench scoring was another difference maker in this game, with 39 points coming off of the Weber State bench, as opposed to 11 bench points from Idaho State.
Wildcat freshman Jerrick Harding played an explosive game, scoring a total of 22 points, 19 of those points coming after halftime.
Harding received eight stitches in the Jan. 25 game against the Bengals, but he said that he was determined that he wouldn’t let that keep him down.
“I’m a tough guy,” Harding said. “I think I can get a lot better. This is only my freshman year.”
Senior Jeremy Senglin led the team in scoring with 24 points, followed by Harding’s 22 points as well as 12 points from senior Kyndahl Hill.
The Wildcats will play their next home game on Feb. 2, against Southern Utah University.