The Weber State University Wildcats kicked off their home opener in the Dee Events Center against the University of San Diego Toreros. Despite a hard-fought effort, Weber State fell to the Toreros 71-56.
Senior point guard Jerrick Harding played his first minutes of the season after missing the season opener against Utah State due to an injury.
Harding has been a leading scorer for Weber State during the past two seasons, but he was clearly rusty. Harding posted 6 points on 3-11 shooting off the bench.
After seven minutes of play, WSU sophomore forward Donatas Kupsas went down on the court with what turned out to be an ACL injury.
The game started off rather slow offensively, as is common for these games that are early in the season as teams are looking for their rhythm. After nine minutes elapsed neither team had eclipsed double-digit scoring.
Weber started to spring to life with around 7 minutes of play left in the first half as a defensive hustle play by Judah Jordan to force a San Diego turnover sparked a 4-0 Weber run and a San Diego time out
Immediately after the timeout Cody John drilled a three in front of the SD bench and made sure they knew about it as stared down the Toreros head coach holding up three fingers on each hand.
The final few minutes of the first half was an exchange of threes from both teams, John was doing the heavy lifting for Weber, leading all scorers in the first half with 14 points.
Weber’s offense in the first half was serviceable but predictable, only four players had scored for the Cats, with John being the only player in the half to score in double digits. Weber shot 33% from the field as a team.
“I don’t think we took a ton of bad shots, probably only two or three the whole game, but again we got to get comfortable and when you get comfortable you make those shots,” Head Coach Randy Raye said about Weber’s shooting as of late.
Harding would start the second half in place of the injured Kupsas for the Wildcats
The first few minutes of the second half saw flashes from Harding as he scored 4 points in five minutes, his first points of the season
San Diego got out to an 11 point lead with 11 minutes of game time left. Weber would call a timeout to regroup and strategize.
Joey Calcaterra for the Toreros would pick up a technical foul with 3:17 left in the game. After the free throws, Weber would be down 62-48.
The Wildcats were not able to complete the comeback effort, and they slipped to 0-2 on the season.
“This has happened to us many times where we, in a season start off slow, but we finish strong and end up winning the Big Sky,” John said about the ‘Cats slow start.
The West Coast Baptist College Eagles will come to the Dee on Thursday, November 19th as Weber State will look to get back on track by getting that first win under their belts.