OGDEN -- The message from Weber State coach Randy Rahe is clear after his Wildcats narrowly escaped against Division-II Adams State.
His team needs to be a lot tougher.
Weber State shot only 64.9 percent from the line despite 57 attempts and needed some tough defense down the stretch as the Wildcats defeated Adams State 85-77 at the Dee Events Center.
It was the first and only exhibition game of the season for Weber State as it now prepares to face Brigham Young University at the Marriott Center next Friday night.
"We're not very tough right now," Rahe said. "We're not a very tough team. We got to learn to compete harder and then obviously we have a lot of things to work on defensively."
Five Wildcats reached double figures in points, but Weber State also turned the ball over 13 times, compared to just seven times for Adams State. Weber State also relied heavily on 3s early on, attempting eight 3-pointers not even halfway through the first half.
"We want to throw the ball inside and that's how we play," Rahe said. "We didn't play offensively the way we want to play. We want to throw the ball inside first and then we play off of that."
Rahe also attributed the close result to the confidence Division-II teams feel if they're able to compete early in a Division-I arena.
"Anything can happen this time of the year," Rahe said. "You get a team like tonight, like (Dixie State), they go into a Division-I arena and they have nothing to lose. And they have no fear. And they are playing like you wouldn't believe. I thought that's what happened tonight. Those kids from Adams State were playing like you wouldn't believe."
The Wildcats looked poised to take control of the game when a 20-7 run put them ahead 30-17 midway through the first half. But Adams State kept battling and scored 12 straight to close Weber State's lead to just a single point.
Weber State went into the half leading 39-36.
The Wildcats surged out to a 14-point lead, their largest of the game, with 14:14 left in the second half, but Adams State refused to go away. The Grizzlies cut the lead to four at 63-59 with 9:56 remaining, but couldn't get any closer.
Despite the outcome, Rahe believes the outcome can ultimately be beneficial to his team.
"It was good because it exposed us in a lot of areas that we needed to be exposed in," Rahe said. "Had you not had a game like that and maybe you go win a game by 30 or 40, you're not going to get exposed like you need to be exposed."
Jeremy Senglin led WSU with 17 points while Jaree Crawford put in 16 to lead Adams State.
* WSU FALLS IN FOUR: At Swenson Gym, the Wildcats put up a valiant effort against the Big Sky's best on Saturday, but it wasn't quite enough.
Despite a 14-kill, nine-dig night from junior outside hitter Audrey Biggs, the Weber State women's volleyball team had its two-match winning streak snapped with a 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 25-16 setback to Big Sky Conference-leading North Dakota.
Sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Fuchs added 12 kills, seven digs and a trio of service aces for the Wildcats, who fell to 3-11 in Big Sky play (7-21 overall).
North Dakota (13-1 Big Sky, 18-8 overall) was led by Anna Pioske's 21 kills.