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Weber State basketball: Dillon Jones drive lifts WSU over Idaho State in double OT

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Feb 4, 2023
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Weber State forward Dillon Jones (2) rises to shoot against Idaho State's Daxton Carr in overtime of a game Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, in Pocatello, Idaho.
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Weber State guard Junior Ballard (24) drives past Idaho State's Austin Smellie (5) on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, in Pocatello, Idaho.
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Weber State center Alex Tew dunks against Idaho State on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, in Pocatello, Idaho.
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Weber State's Dillon Jones (2) drives against Idaho State's Jay Nagle (1) on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, in Pocatello, Idaho.

Plenty of things worked against Weber State men’s basketball Saturday night at Idaho State.

The Bengals, for instance, made three more 3-pointers and six more free throws. When the game went to overtime and then double overtime, Idaho State shot 15 of 18 from the foul line in those 10 minutes alone and — with WSU’s after-halftime foul disadvantage 19-9 at one point in the second overtime — the Wildcats saw Daniel Rouzan, Alex Tew and then Junior Ballard foul out.

But Dillon Jones is Dillon Jones.

Jones overcame a foot injury early in the second half, and he and Ballard combined for 34 points after halftime that included made baskets on WSU’s final possessions of regulation and both overtime periods.

For the second time this season, Jones finished off an opponent on a drive to the bucket, scooping in a tough take with 2.5 seconds left to lift Weber State to a 72-71 win in Pocatello.

Ballard scored a season-high 20 points, and Jones totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds as Weber State improved to 7-3 in Big Sky games — good for a two-game cushion in third place and keeping a top-two finish within reach.

“We’ve got a competitive team and those guys are at the top end of that,” WSU head coach Eric Duft said of Jones and Ballard.

Jones drove for a dunk with 13 seconds left in regulation to tie it 52-52, which held up after Brock Mackenzie missed a drive on a physical challenge from Steven Verplancken Jr. just before the buzzer.

Though Jones and Ballard poured in the points, Dyson Koehler was heroic in his own right after regulation. Koehler finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, including a 3-of-5 mark from downtown that constituted half of his team’s six 3-point makes.

Koehler’s final 3 came with 3:15 left in the first overtime, a clutch shot from the corner to make it 60-59 after Idaho State (8-15, 5-5 Big Sky) had taken its largest lead of the night.

Jones soon had an important and-one drive to tie it at 62-62, and Ballard drove for a layup with 24 seconds left that ultimately sent the game to a second overtime at 64-64. Mackenzie followed by missing a long jumper for ISU and Zahir Porter’s beyond-half-court runner rattled out at the buzzer.

Koehler was crucial to get Weber State (12-11, 7-3) across the line in the second extra period. Koehler had two putback dunks in the frame: one with 4:23 left (for a 66-65 lead) and, after both teams strung together several field-goal misses, another at the 1:09 mark to put WSU up 68-67.

Idaho State big man Brayden Parker was a difficult guard, key in the foul-outs of Tew and Rouzan (each finished with four points and one rebound) by drawing calls on a score of post-up positioning fouls without the ball.

Parker finished with 23 points. He made three straight post-up push shots to turn a 46-41 deficit into a 47-46 ISU lead with 2:55 left in regulation. Parker got a post look to bounce up and in with 9 seconds left in the second overtime to put ISU ahead until Jones claimed his coast-to-coast winner.

“We talked before the game, our theme was just having connected toughness. We didn’t want a weak link out there from a toughness standpoint … and to find a way,” Duft said. “I don’t know if it was an X’s and O’s game as much as it was a play-hard-and-figure-it-out game.”

ISU shot 10 of 10 from the foul line in the first overtime but 5 of 8 in the second with Parker, Austin Smellie and Jay Nagle each taking fateful 1-of-2 trips in the final frame.

Mackenzie scored 11 points and Miguel Tomley nine for Idaho State. Each made three 3-pointers, helping the Bengals to a 5-of-7 mark from deep to start the second half. It was those 3s that helped ISU nearly withstand giving up a 42-18 deficit in points in the paint.

Porter added seven points and four rebounds for WSU, finishing with a team-best plus-nine in the plus-minus ledger, playing important defensive minutes down the stretch with several teammates in foul trouble.

WSU prevailed in a game with 13 ties and 16 lead changes to avoid its first season sweep to the Bengals in 20 years.

“Great college game. Somebody had to lose; fortunately, we won,” Duft said. “If you came here tonight and paid money to get in, you got your money’s worth, that’s for sure.”

Jones notched his 13th double-double of the season. With two steals taking his career total to 130, Jones moved past Damian Lillard and into a tie with Jerrick Harding for a fifth-place tie on WSU’s career steals list.

With 10 rebounds, Jones has 722 for his career and now has Al DeWitt (727 in eighth place) and Kyndahl Hill (734 in seventh place) in his sights on the WSU career rebounding list.

Weber State hits the road to Greeley, Colorado, for a 9 p.m. Monday matchup at Northern Colorado (7-16, 2-9) that will air on ESPNU. The Bears will be returning home after a two-game road trip to Montana.


Idaho State slowly built a lead that reached as large as 21 points and thoroughly defeated the Weber State women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon in Ogden.

Daryn Hickok led Weber State (5-17, 1-9 Big Sky) with nine points and seven rebounds. Jadyn Matthews scored eight points and Laura Taylor chipped in seven. WSU reached a 13-of-42 shooting mark with two makes in the final minute.

Laura Bello totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds to pace Idaho State (9-12, 4-6). Callie Bourne added 12 points.

Weber State next hosts Northern Colorado at 6 p.m. Monday.


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