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Weber State basketball pulls away to beat Sacramento State 80-64

Thursday , January 18, 2018 - 10:15 PM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — In a neck-and-neck contest Thursday night, Weber State slammed the door late on Sacramento State with a 15-2 run to claim an 80-64 win at the Dee Events Center.

“In the first half I felt like we didn’t play with a lot of team spirit,” WSU head coach Randy Rahe said. “We’ve got to be a team that competes with a great edge and a great competitive team spirit. In the second half, I was really pleased with our guys. I though they played well. We looked more like ourselves.”

Sophomore guard Jerrick Harding scored a game-high 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting, including five triples.

“We’re getting to be the team that we eventually want to be,” Harding said. “We’re starting to put everything together and we’re starting to play really well as a team. I feel like we need to keep that going forward.”

Junior forward Brekkott Chapman added 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, added 13 rebounds and made a significant impact in the second half.

Chapman’s offensive output is the most he’s scored since Nov. 30 when he had 21 points in a loss to Fresno State. The Roy native later sprained a ligament in his foot and has struggled after returning to the floor.

“I just haven’t been aggressive lately, and I just came out and, whether I made mistakes or not, I just continued to stay aggressive,” Chapman said of his effort. “I just want to thank my family, teammates and coaches for believing in me. I was down on myself a little bit and they just kept helping me.”

Senior guard Ryan Richardson added 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field with four 3-pointers.

Freshman forward Michal Kozak was the primary defender against Sac State leading scorer Justin Strings, and held the lengthy forward to 13 points on 5-of-22 shooting.

“Michal’s a good defender,” Rahe said. “He likes guarding good players. He was tough as nails tonight. Michal’s a very disciplined, physical, tough-minded defender.”

Deep shots were falling early and often for Weber State (11-7, 4-2 Big Sky), as 10 of their 13 3-pointers in the came in the first half. But Sacramento State used eight Wildcat turnovers and a few offensive boards to earn extra possessions, with WSU holding a 37-36 halftime lead.

The teams went back and forth to start the second half until Harding scored seven straight points to make it 59-50 with 8:57 to play.

The Hornets (5-14, 2-4) fought back to cut it within three with less than five minutes to play, but Chapman converted a three-point play and nailed a corner 3 to spark Weber’s late, decisive run.

“I feel like the biggest thing was we got stops,” Harding said of the late run. “We just made plays on the other end. We trusted each other. We had a lot of energy coming into the second half.”

Weber State will now host the Portland State Vikings (13-6, 3-3), who erased a 16-point deficit against Idaho State on Thursday night to win 87-83.

WSU WOMEN DUMP SAC STATE

Kailie Quinn scored 17 points and the Weber State women sprinted past Sacramento State 78-56 on Thursday afternoon.

The Widcats (13-4, 5-1 Big Sky) held the Hornets (3-14, 1-5) to six points in the first quarter on their way to a 37-21 halftime lead.

Shianne Johnson scored 11 points in 17 minutes off the bench. Emily Drake scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Briana Gray added nine points and nine rebounds.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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