Weber State basketball: Wildcat men hammer Idaho State for 40 minutes, win 95-63
OGDEN — Playing the same team in consecutive games can sometimes pose a challenge.
For Weber State men’s basketball, it unlocked a key to three halves of blowout basketball.
Weber State raced to a 21-6 lead early and hammered visiting Idaho State 95-63 on Thursday night at the Dee Events Center to keep the Wildcats in first place in the Big Sky standings.
In Monday’s win in Pocatello, WSU and ISU played to a 30-30 tie in the first half. The Wildcats won the three subsequent halves between Monday and Thursday by a tally of 143-94.
“At halftime, we talked about that we’ve got a team down, we’ve got to put them away,” WSU head coach Randy Rahe said. “I thought we did that tonight. Overall, I was really happy with our performance … we had that ball moving and sharing it.”
Leading by a comfortable 48-33 halftime margin, JJ Overton came out with a driving score and, after a Seikou Sisoho Jawara 3-pointer, Overton threw down an alley-oop dunk from Dillon Jones and then slammed a baseline drive in consecutive possessions. At 57-37, the margin only grew as Weber State (13-5, 6-1 Big Sky) kept its foot on the gas to the finish line.
Overton led WSU with 21 points in 26 minutes, adding five rebounds and three assists. Koby McEwen totaled 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Jones added 13 points and six rebounds, and Sisoho Jawara tallied 12 points and five assists.
As much as WSU excelled offensively — 95 points, 55.4% field-goal shooting and 74% on 2-pointers (29 of 39) — it was defense and rebounding where the Wildcats separated themselves Thursday.
“We’re a really good defensive team but we’re a little bit spurty on it,” Rahe said. “That was our challenge tonight and I thought our guys really did that.”
WSU won the rebound battle 39-33, the fast-break tally 15-9, and points off turnovers 22-9 as the Wildcats committed just seven turnovers on the night.
Dontay Bassett got his third consecutive start at center for WSU, totaling nine points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block in 17 minutes.
Idaho State (3-13, 1-6) got 16 points from slicing-and-dicing guard Liam Sorensen and 10 points from Emmit Taylor III.
Eleven Weber State players scored. Alex Tew totaled seven points, Zahir Porter and Dyson Koehler six, KJ Cunningham four, and Cody Carlson and Donatas Kupsas each scored two points.
Weber State next hits the road for a challenging week at Southern Utah (on Monday), at Northern Colorado (on Thursday) and at Sacramento State (on Saturday), facing the other teams that join WSU as the top three in the standings.
Weber State men’s basketball brought its rivalry series with Idaho State to two milestones with its two victories this week.
Thursday’s win was WSU’s 50th victory over the Bengals in Ogden, taking that mark to 50-13 in favor of the Wildcats. And, Monday’s win brought the series mark to 30-30 for games in Pocatello.
Adding in a 4-3 WSU advantage in neutral-site games, WSU is now 84-46 all-time against ISU.
ISU 69, WSU 63
Weber State women’s basketball raced to a 16-9 lead in the first five minutes Thursday in Pocatello but Idaho State rallied to outscore the Wildcats 29-12 over the next 15 minutes. The Bengals made that 38-28 halftime lead stand up and handed WSU its fourth straight loss.
WSU (7-10, 3-5 Big Sky) got it back to a four-point game with 2:15 left but could get no closer.
Jadyn Matthews led the Wildcats with 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Daryn Hickok added 18 points and six rebounds, scoring 10 points in the first quarter.