Richardson leads Wildcats to rout in Big Sky opener

Dec 20 2012 - 11:21pm

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CHENEY, Wash. -- It was as easy as 1 ... 2 ... 4.

Weber State took the 3s away from Eastern Washington and rolled to a 74-53 win in its Big Sky Conference opener Thursday at Reese Court.

Junior point guard Jordan Richardson tied his season-high with 15 points to lead a balanced Wildcats attack. Junior center Kyle Tresnak added 14 and freshman forward Joel Bolomboy had nine points and 12 rebounds as Weber State (5-3, 1-0 Big Sky) defeated Eastern Washington (2-9, 0-1) for the fourth straight time and ninth victory of the last 10 meetings.

WSU coach Randy Rahe was pleased with his team's defense and rebounding.

"I thought our guys really stuck to the gameplan of trying to take away 3s, not giving them as many and if they did, they were contested," he said. "I thought we really did a good job of that, holding this team to 4 for 16 from 3 when they average about 30 (3-point attempts) a game. That's hard to do."

Eastern Washington jacked up 41 3-point tries on Monday at UC Davis but went 2 for 10 from beyond the arc in the first half Thursday and only tried six more treys after halftime, shooting 34.0 percent overall.

"This is one of the two toughest home games we will have to play in the Big Sky. ... They are a very, very good team," second-year Eagles coach Jim Hayford said. "They basically said they are going to take away the perimeter game, and make us play one-on-one inside. They made the right decision because they were able to beat us inside, and we were not able to beat them inside."

The Wildcats opened each half with a run while they held the Eagles down, taking a 15-3 lead out of the gates and going on a 19-5 charge after halftime to put the game away.

Richardson, a native of Lewisville, Texas, was 3 for 5 from beyond the arc after entering the game tied for second in the league in both 3-point percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio.

"I just let the game come to me," he said. "I tried to get my teammates shots and my teammates found me as well. I knocked them down."

Rahe said it started on the other side of the court for Richardson.

"When Jordan focuses on his defense, which is what we've challenge him to do -- he had to guard a really good player tonight in (WSU guard Justin) Crosgile -- then the offense falls into place for him," Rahe said. "That's exactly what happened. He worked really hard defensively; when you do that, you get good ball movement and you find yourself open, you're not worried about it, you get good ball movement and you're more comfortable."

Tresnak was 5 for 8 from the field and had five rebounds, while junior forward Davion Berry had nine points and seven assists for WSU.

Bolomboy provided a big spark in the first half, with all nine of his points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 13 minutes and flying in for a monster putback slam to give the Wildcats a 27-15 lead with five minutes left before halftime. Weber State led 37-26 at the break and by as many as 27 in the game.

EWU freshman forward Venky Jois, the Big Sky's leading rebounder coming into Thursday, scored a game-high 21 points but grabbed only five boards after having five double-doubles in his previous seven games.

Weber State pulled down a season-high total on the glass as the Wildcats outrebounded the Eagles 41-28.

Junior forward Byron Fulton hit a pair of 3s in the first half for his first baskets of the season. Fulton, making only his third appearance of the year since having his knee scoped in November, finished with nine points.

The Wildcats face Portland State on Saturday while looking to sweep their first conference road trip.

 

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