homepage logo

Lifeless-legged Weber State basketball shelled at Northern Colorado 88-54

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Feb 6, 2023
1 / 3
Weber State guard Steven Verplancken Jr. (11) shoots a 3-pointer against Northern Colorado on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Greeley, Colo.
2 / 3
Weber State forward Dillon Jones (2) shoots a 3 over Northern Colorado's Connor Creech (12) on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Greeley, Colo.
3 / 3
Weber State guard Steven Verplancken Jr. (11) goes for a layup as Northern Colorado's Matt Johnson II (2) trails on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Greeley, Colo.

Riley Abercrombie knocked down a 3-pointer to open the scoring Monday night to put Northern Colorado men’s basketball ahead against Weber State.

He didn’t take a shot the rest of the half but by the time he shot again, it was clear he nor any of his teammates were going to have much struggle scoring.

Abercrombie hit a triple coming out of halftime, later hit 3s on three consecutive possessions and the homestanding Bears showed out against a tired-legged Weber State squad, winning 88-54 in an ESPNU featured game.

The difference was enough for veteran referee Tommy Nuñez Jr. to remark to WSU head coach Eric Duft how he observed the Wildcats were a step behind on every play.

“We weren’t moving fast enough to play good on either end of the court. I told the team, I’m not mad, I love this team. We’ve played hard all year long and I didn’t think it was from lack of trying tonight … We didn’t have it, and coach (Steve) Smiley told me after the game it was the best they’ve played all year by far. You get those two things happening, and it’s not good.”

Northern Colorado shot 33 of 55 on Monday night. On the other side, Weber State — on its fourth consecutive road game and following a double-overtime win Saturday at Idaho State — struggled, to say the least. Alex Tew put home a dunk to make it 3-2 early and WSU didn’t score for another six minutes.

Down 17-4, Dillon Jones hit a 3 to help Weber State (12-12, 7-4 Big Sky) eventually get it to 25-15.

To that point, Northern Colorado (8-16, 3-9) was 1 of 7 from downtown. After that point, the Bears shot 11 of 15 from behind the arc. Matt Johnson II and Dalton Knecht hit 3s on consecutive possessions late in the first half to help the Bears to a 35-21 halftime lead.

Halftime only seemed to worsen WSU’s problems on both ends. After his opener, Abercrombie’s second 3 of the half made it 46-24.

When Abercrombie hit three straight 3s late in the half, it put his team up 77-45 and he was, at that point, 7 of 7 from the 3-point line — sending his team’s bench and a full student section into a frenzy.

The Big Sky’s second-best defense simply could not mount a challenge to what the Bears had.

Abercrombie led all scorers with those 21 points. Knecht and Daylen Kountz each added 16 points and Johnson had 11.

Jones finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for Weber State, his 14th double-double of the season. He moved past Al DeWitt and into eighth place on WSU’s career rebound list with 732, putting Jones three away from passing Kyndahl Hill for seventh. He added one steal, moving him past Jerrick Harding and alone into fifth place with 131 steals.

WSU shot 3 of 23 from behind the arc and a paltry 11 of 24 from the foul line — especially cold for a team that was top-10 nationally in free-throw percentage. Jones was 6 of 6 on freebies, Dyson Koehler was 3 of 4 and everyone else was 2 of 14.

Koehler finished with 10 points for WSU. Steven Verplancken Jr. added nine points and Daniel Rouzan scored six points on three offensive-rebound putbacks. Tew finished with seven points and five rebounds.

Walk-on guard Cole Lake scored his first career Division I point with a late free throw for Weber State.

Weber State, in the middle of four games in eight days, will have to regroup as it returns home to host Montana State on Thursday and Montana on Saturday.

“Whether you lose by three or 30, it counts the same,” Duft said. “We’ve got some guys banged up … we’ve got to get back and get that solved so we can play better.”

NOCO 73, WSU 60

Playing its fourth straight home game, the Weber State women’s basketball team trailed 33-18 at halftime and never got much closer to Northern Colorado on Monday night at the Dee Events Center.

Daryn Hickok led Weber State (5-18, 1-10 Big Sky) with 14 points and seven rebounds. Jadyn Matthews added 13 points and five boards, and Kaiija Lesane pitched in 10 points.

Delaynie Byrne led Northern Colorado (11-12, 4-8) with 23 points and eight rebounds. Hannah Simental had 16 points, shooting 11 of 16 from the line.

Last in the Big Sky standings, the 10th-place Wildcats hosted the ninth- and eighth-placed teams Saturday and Monday, and lost those contests by 16 and 13 points.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)