Weber State University’s men’s basketball team earned a 78–61 win against the Idaho State Bengals on Jan. 17.
If there was one thing head coach Randy Rahe wanted to get across in his postgame radio interview, it was that they were “very excited to play tonight.” and that the team brought a physical and energetic battle to the court.
Forward JJ Overton scored the team’s first points with a finish off the glass. The move was complemented on the defensive end by a block by Dontay Bassett.
Scoring at the rim was a staple of the Wildcats’ offense early on. On a shot attempt in the paint, Bassett was fouled and able to convert on both free throws. Weber State guards Koby McEwen and Seikou Sisoho Jawara made layups to help set the pace inside early.
Idaho State guard Tarik Cool hit a deep 3-pointer from the left side to start the night’s perimeter scoring. McEwen and Sisoho Jawara responded to the shot by each scoring from behind the arc, putting the Wildcats up 14–9.
Although ahead, the Wildcats’ lead never got too comfortable, as the Bengals slowly came back with a 6–0 run led by forward Daxton Carr to take a 20–18 lead.
Overton went on a run of his own after, starting with a finish through a foul on his way to 9 first-half points. Not to be outdone, Cool scored back-to-back buckets for the Bengals, tying the score 30–30 heading into the second half.
According to Rahe, the points of emphasis in the halftime huddle were rebounding and turnovers.
“We turned it over eight times in the first half,” Rahe said. “When we didn’t turn it over, we got really good shots.”
Overton’s momentum from the first half carried over, opening the second with a one-handed slam.
Foul trouble came creeping in for the Wildcats as Bassett, McEwen and forward Alex Tew all picked up fouls early in the half that kept them off the floor.
Despite the fouls, a big 3 from Sisoho Jawara gave Weber State their biggest lead of the night as they went up 53–39. The Bengals couldn’t make up the lead, and Weber State’s momentum continued as they outscored the Bengals by 17 points in the second half to end the game at 78–61.
Weber State’s starters carried the offensive load as four of them had double-digit nights. McEwen and Sisoho Jawara finished the game with 23 points each.
The Wildcats will be back in action at the Dee Events Center for a rematch with Idaho State on Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m.