Weber State defeated the Montana State Bobcats in a high-scoring clash of the ’Cats by the score of 96–88.
Cheers for the Wildcats could be heard echoing through the Dee Events Center as a limited number of fans were allowed to attend for the first time this season to cheer on the Weber State men’s basketball team.
The Wildcats played as a team, with six players scoring in the double digits.
Seikou Sisoho Jawara, Dontay Bassett and Isiah Brown all scored 17 points apiece.
Zahir Porter poured in 16 points, Cody Carlson put up 10 and Dillon Jones dropped 14 coming off the bench.
“They [Montana State] were 6–0 coming in, I don’t really look at the standings, but our guys do, and they knew where this team was at so they were jacked up,” Wildcats Head Coach Randy Rahe said. “I think that added a little bit more juice, and our guys were excited to play.”
The Wildcats trailed early on, but a free throw from Bassett took the 11–9 lead for Weber State. Carlson put in six of the Wildcats’ first 10 points of the game. He also snagged three rebounds and dished out two assists by the final buzzer.
With the game tied at 12, Montana State’s Amin Adamu, Borja Fernandez and Xavier Bishop hit back-to-back 3-pointers to for a quick 9–0 run for the Bobcats.
“We need to come out ready. At the beginning of this game, we weren’t guarding very well, and really the entire game we didn’t play our best defense, but I think we’ll be much better,” Sisoho Jawara said of the defensive play of the team.
Porter and Brown responded for the Wildcats by getting to the rim for quick layups, which weathered the storm for the Wildcats, who were down by the team’s largest deficit of the night of nine points nearly halfway through the first half.
Weber State clawed back following a deep three from Porter and back-to-back buckets from Jones — one of which was a corner three — to cut the Bobcat lead to 33–31.
A net-ripping 3-pointer from Porter took a 34–33 lead for the Wildcats with three and a half minutes to play in the first half.
A fall-away three from Brown tied the game at 43, but seconds before halftime a layup from Abdul Mohamed at the buzzer sent Montana State to the locker room with a 45–43 lead.
The Wildcats opened the second half on fire, led by Porter and Bassett.
A Bassett 3-pointer capped off an 11–2 run for Weber State early in the second half.
The Wildcats never looked back, with Sisoho Jawara leading the way for Weber State. He scored all 17 of his points in the second half while dishing out two assists and snagging two rebounds to help close out the game.
Sisoho Jawara’s steal and coast-to-coast finish at the rim in transition gave the Wildcats a 13-point 82–69 lead — its biggest on the night.
“My first games I put too much pressure on myself, and my shot selection wasn’t very good, so I tried to change that. The biggest thing for me was being mentally strong, and now I’m playing better,” Sisoho Jawara said of his play this season.
The Wildcats closed the game out and took the victory despite being outshot from the 3-point line.
Weber State finished 7 of 15 and Montana State finished 13 of 26 from beyond the arc.
“At the beginning they were making all those threes, but as a team, we stayed together and we kept playing the way we play and played better defense in the second half and we got the win,” Sisoho Jawara said.
This game was the first of the season in which a limited number of fans could attend.
“It was great. I don’t know how many we had, but we heard them and we really appreciate them coming out,” Coach Rahe said. “They came with the idea they were going to try and make some noise and liven this place up a little bit, so it was really good.”
The Wildcats battled Montana State again at the Dee Events Center on Feb. 6.