Sunday , January 24, 2016 - 12:33 AM
POCATELLO, Idaho -- Idaho State’s Ethan Telfair beat the buzzer with a long right-side jumper to give the Bengals a 69-68 win over the Weber State Wildcats on Saturday night.
Story continues below video.
Telfair finished the game with a game-high 30 points, 13 of which came in the last four minutes of play.
“It’s a tough way to lose, but we’ve got to start the game better,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said. “We didn’t have the same energy and aggressiveness that they had. I knew how they were going to come out. When you do that, you give them all kinds of confidence.”
Leading Weber State was Jeremy Senglin with 20 points, with Joel Bolomboy and Dusty Baker as the only other two Wildcats to score in double figures, with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
“We can’t take any games for granted,” Senglin said. “We’ve got to go out and play hard for 40 minutes. The first half we didn’t play too hard. That wasn’t our team.”
Bolomboy’s seven rebounds left him short of another double-double, but it was enough to break the Weber State and Big Sky Conference records for career rebounds. Ironically, Bolomboy passed Idaho State’s Steve Hayes record of 1,147 rebounds set in 1977. The record at Weber State of 1,143 rebounds was previously held by Willie Sojourner, who set that record in 1971.
The Bengals came out on fire against the Wildcats, shooting 63 percent from the field and 75 percent from three-point range in the first half.
While ISU was making it rain on the one side of the floor, WSU was struggling to find success. The Wildcats didn’t score consecutive baskets without the Bengals also scoring for the first 12 minutes of the game. That allowed Idaho State to build their lead to 29-19 with 8:08 remaining in the first half.
“Our defense wasn’t very good,” Rahe said. “We let them shoot threes. We let them do whatever they wanted.”
Dusty Baker got the ball rolling for Weber State with back-to-back three pointers that sparked an 11-2 run that cut the lead to 31-30. All of Baker’s eight first half points came during the three-minute span.
Trading baskets down the stretch of the first half, the Wildcats were facing a 36-34 deficit at the break.
Despite being outshot by nearly 24 percent in the first half, Weber State was able to stay in the game thanks to eight offensive rebounds that led to nine second-chance points.
Idaho State picked up right where they left off to start the second half, scoring six straight points to get a 44-36 lead.
That’s when Weber State finally started to get things going on both ends with a big 21-5 run to retake the lead and build it up to 59-48 with less than eight minutes to play. Senglin got hot in the run, scoring nine of his 20 points in the eight-minute span.
Riding the raucous home crowd inside Reed Gym, the Bengals showed resiliency with a 17-5 run over six minutes to take a 65-64 lead with 1:29 left in the game.
“We had a couple of turnovers and we missed a couple of tough shots,” Rahe said, “A couple of turnovers led to layups. We can’t do that. I thought their defense was pretty good. We just made a couple of mistakes with the ball and before you know it they’re right back in it.”
With Weber State leading 68-67, Senglin was fouled and given a chance to extend the lead at the line. He missed the front end of the one-and-one, and Kyndahl Hill mishandled the rebound out of bounds, giving the Bengals the final opportunity.
Telfair had the ball in his hands for the remaining seconds of the game, using a double cross-over to get Bolomboy in the air, giving Telfair plenty of space for a long jumper from the right side that won the game.
Weber State will be back at home next week to take on Northern Arizona and Southern Utah inside the Dee Events Center.
Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarisdeSE.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.