In a battle between sharpshooting lineups, Weber State University’s men’s basketball team edged out the Northern Colorado Bears 85–76 on Jan. 27 and hit the Sacramento State Hornets hard with a 79–59 victory on Jan. 29 with their fifth- and sixth-straight wins.
Wildcat center Dontay Bassett played a pivotal role for Weber State early on against UNC, notching 6 of the team’s first 10 points along with three rebounds. His efforts led the Wildcats to a 10–8 lead.
Momentum began to shift when Bear guard Dru Kuxhausen made back-to-back 3-pointers, giving Northern Colorado a 19–18 edge.
During the Bears’ run, Wildcat forward JJ Overton sustained an injury that had him grabbing at his right hamstring. He remained in the game but appeared to be shaken up.
The Wildcats kept it close throughout most of the first half, but a 7–0 run gave the Bears a 43–33 lead going into the second half.
“We just didn’t have the juice,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said about the team’s first-half performance. “We didn’t move very fast. We didn’t play very fast. We didn’t do anything very fast.”
The Wildcats stepped up in the second half as Weber State went on a roaring 9–0 run less than five minutes into the half, making it a 1-point game.
“We just did what we were supposed to do, better,” Rahe said.
After some back-and-forth play, Weber stepped on the gas. An assist from guard Koby McEwen led to a 3-pointer from forward Dillon Jones, giving the Wildcats their first lead in nearly 20 minutes. With a little over 10 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats were up 54–53.
The Wildcats’ 9–0 run became a 32–14 run as they outplayed the Bears on both sides of the floor. Jones was the star of the second half, scoring 15 points and dishing out three assists en route to a career-high 24 points for the former Big Sky Freshman of the Year.
On Jan. 29, Hornet guard Bryce Fowler started off scoring the team’s first 6 points while center Bassett started the Wildcats off with a layup off an assist from guard Dillon Jones.
With a little over eight minutes left in the first half, the Wildcats went on a 13–0 run, dominating from behind the arc. Center Jonathan Komagum made a layup to end the Hornets’ drought, making the score 22–16.
Before the end of the half, Bassett hit back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Wildcats up 40–25 coming into the second and led the team in scoring during the first half with 15 points.
Despite coming into the second half with the upper hand, Wildcat turnovers brought Sacramento State back into the game. With 12 minutes left in the game, Weber State’s lead was cut to 50–45.
After some back-and-forth scoring, the Wildcats went on their final run, outscoring the Hornets 29–17 to finish out the game. Overton found a hot streak with 18 points, six rebounds and three blocks, bringing the final score to 79–59.