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Weber State basketball defeats Adams State in foul-filled exhibition

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Nov 2, 2022
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Weber State guard Keith Dinwiddie Jr. (10) passes the ball against the defense of Adams State player Isaiah Sampson (21) in an exhibition game Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
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Weber State forward Dillon Jones (2) drives against Adams State in an exhibition game Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
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Weber State guard Zahir Porter, center, scoops a shot while being defended by three Adams State players in an exhibition game Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
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Weber State center Handje Tamba (34) goes up to shoot against Adams State in an exhibition game Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
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Weber State men's basketball head coach Eric Duft claps during an exhibition game against Adams State on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.

OGDEN — Weber State unofficially opened the Eric Duft era with an 88-76 exhibition victory over Adams State on Wednesday night at the Dee Events Center.

Third-year forward Dillon Jones totaled 20 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the victory.

The Wildcats opened the contest cold and the visitors did not. Adams State (Alamosa, Colorado) is a relative unknown this year in Division II’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference due to having 12 new players, many from the junior college ranks.

Guard Kolby Walker hit a pair of 3s early and the Grizzlies held a small lead for about the first 12 minutes of the contest. Walker finished with 18 points and shot 4 of 5 from deep to lead Adams State. The rest of the Grizzlies shot 1 of 12 from beyond the arc.

“We’ve got a lot of things to improve on. Defensively, I thought we weren’t very good tonight,” Duft said.

After missing their first six attempts from deep, Weber State shot 5 of 10 from behind the arc to close the first half, helped by KJ Cunningham and Steven Verplancken Jr., to lead 44-37 at halftime.

Weber State burst to a 20-point lead out of halftime, scoring 23 points in the first eight minutes. Jones scored seven quick points and freshman big man and Tennessee transfer Handje Tamba threw down an alley-oop dunk to make it 67-47.

The game devolved into a free-throw shooting contest after that. A total of 33 fouls and 45 free-throw attempts came in the second half to build a total of 52 fouls and 68 free throws for the game. Adams State shot 25 of 32 from the foul line, Weber was 27 of 36.

Senior guard Zahir Porter scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds for Weber State. Guards Verplancken and Keith Dinwiddie Jr. each scored 12 points and made two 3-pointers. Tamba totaled 10 points.

WSU shot 25 of 58 overall and 11 of 32 from deep. The Wildcats substituted often, playing nine players in an eight-player rotation with freshman Daniel Rouzan playing backup center to Tamba in the first half and freshman Louie Jordan doing so in the second half. Jordan scored four points with a 3-pointer and grabbed two rebounds.

“We had 18 assists on 25 baskets, which is a good thing,” Duft said. “We didn’t shoot it probably as well as we’re capable … it’s a starting point, everybody has it, and now the team’s going to get better from here.”

Senior guard Junior Ballard scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds. He and Tamba were team leaders at plus-17 in the plus-minus ledger.

Sophomore center Alex Tew and third-year player Dyson Koehler were not available Wednesday. Tew was held out due to a minor ankle sprain and Koehler is out indefinitely due to a medical issue. Freshmen guards Chris Dockery and JJ Louden did not play.

Weber State opens the regular season at 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, at Washington.


Weber State learned before the game that the transfer waiver request for Verplancken, a junior guard who transferred from Southern Illinois, was approved by the NCAA. Verplancken can play this season without sitting out. The native of the Dominican Republic played one year at Division II Glenville State before transferring to Southern Illinois for two seasons. He shot 40.5% from the 3-point line last season.


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