Wildcats douse Firestorm in season-opener

Nov 9 2012 - 11:15pm


(STEVE SMITH/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Weber State guard Scott Bamforth (left) takes a shot over Arizona Christian forward Mike Navar at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday. The Wildcats defeated the Firestorm 110-52.
(STEVE SMITH/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Weber State guard Scott Bamforth (left) takes a shot over Arizona Christian forward Mike Navar at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday. The Wildcats defeated the Firestorm 110-52.

OGDEN -- With the snow swirling outside, the red-hot Wildcats torched the Firestorm inside the Dee Events Center.

Weber State burned Arizona Christian for a 110-52 victory in its season opener. Seven players scored in double-figures Friday as Weber State fire-walked to a 58-point win over the NAIA school, the second-largest margin of victory in WSU history Seventh-year coach Randy Rahe said the Wildcats got what they wanted out of the game.

"We scheduled this game for a reason, because we've got three really tough road games coming up," he said. "I knew we were going to have somewhat of a younger, little bit inexperienced team in a lot of areas. ... We wanted to see a lot of guys on the floor, we wanted to try to get our confidence up a little bit before we take it on the road."

WSU got big contributions from newcomers playing their first official games for the Wildcats. Junior guard/forward Davion Berry scored a game-high 17 points, freshman forward Joel Bolomboy impressed with 16 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore guard/forward Royce Williams added 11 in their debuts.

"Right now, all of our new guys ... their minds are spinning," Rahe said. "We've thrown so much at them that they're not totally comfortable with what we're doing yet. We get a game like this, we get out there, we run our stuff, we execute and they have some success doing it, it makes them feel better the next time we go out there."

The Wildcats dominated the interior, outrebounding the Firestorm 50-29 and outscoring them 40-16 in the paint.

Bolomboy, the freshman from Fort Worth, Texas, was surprised by the double-double in his first game.

"I just try to come out hard, get every rebound and play hard," he said. "That's my goal. Every game I try to get that, my coaches try to push me to try to get 10 rebounds. My teammates just set me up for open shots and I got it off offensive rebounds and just scored."

The veterans did their jobs as well. Junior guard Jordan Richardson scored 15 points, senior forward Frank Otis added 13 points and 10 rebounds, senior guard Scott Bamforth had 12 points and sophomore center James Hajek had 10.

Weber State shot 63.9 percent from the field, including 13 of 25 from 3-point range (52.0 percent), while holding the Firestorm to a cold 26.5 percent. ACU was led by 13 points from Mason Jones and 10 by Charles King.

Bolomboy capped off the high-flying win with an alley-oop slam and walk-on Logan Foster also drew cheers by sinking a pair of free throws for his first points as a Wildcat.

"It was up there," Bolomboy said of the pass from sophomore juco transfer guard Wayne Bradford. "I didn't think I was going to get there, to tell you the truth. I was kind of off-balance when I jumped."

But like Bolomboy, the 'Cats just kept going up.

The victory was Weber State's 18th consecutive win at the Dee Events Center. The Wildcats' next three games will be on the road, starting at San Jose State Nov. 15.

* NO. 21 GONZAGA 103, SOUTHERN UTAH 65: At Spokane, Wash., Freshman Przemek Karnowski scored 22 points to lead Gonzaga to a win over Southern Utah in the season opener for both teams.

Karnowski, a highly touted 7-foot-1 center from Poland, led six players in double figures. Guy Landry Edi scored a career-high 16 points, Sam Dower had 15, Elias Harris and David Stockton had 12 apiece and Kevin Pangos added 10.

Jackson Stevenett led Southern Utah with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Waded Collie added 10 points for the Thunderbirds.

Gonzaga, which was never threatened after halftime, opened the second half with a 12-2 run and allowed only one Southern Utah field goal in the first 5 minutes. A free throw by Gary Bell Jr. gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night at 83-45 with 7:47 left.

* IUPUI 67, UTAH VALLEY 54: At Indianapolis, John Hart scored 19 points, leading four IUPUI players in double figures, and the Jaguars won their season opener over Utah Valley.

Mitchell Patton had 15 points and Greg Rice and Donovan Gibbs added 10 points apiece for IUPUI. Gibbs also had nine rebounds to lead the Jaguars.

Holton Hunsaker led the Wolverines with 15 points. Ben Aird had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Utah Valley, which only led after Alfonzo Hubbard scored the game's first basket. Hart then hit a 3-pointer to begin an 8-0 run for IUPUI. The Jaguars led 43-26 at halftime in the first meeting between the schools.

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