OGDEN — In a game where Weber State men’s basketball opened on such a lopsided, extended run that it’s hard to pin a stopping point — was it 27-5? 39-7? 54-12? — the few questions Friday night revolved around single-game records and distribution of playing time.
The Wildcats picked up a 123-53 win over Bethesda University, a non-Division I Christian college from Anaheim, California.
That fell just short of records for points in a game (128) and margin of victory (71), but the game allowed for 13 Wildcats to play — 12 of them scored and nine played 14 or more minutes.
Cody John led the Wildcats with 17 points in 24 minutes, adding four assists.
“I kept telling the guys we don’t care about the score. We’re going to use this to get our team better,” head coach Randy Rahe said. “I thought our guys did that. They never let down, they never played to the score … I thought some of our younger guys got some rhythm and some confidence.”
With Jerrick Harding still sidelined with a sprained ankle, freshman Israel Barnes got his second start in as many games, scoring 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3 of 5 from deep, and dished four assists.
“After the San Diego loss, we just wanted to come back and play a full 40 minutes,” Barnes said. We got a lot of good ball movement today, a lot of assists. And our defense was there the whole night.”
Harding is expected to play next week when the Wildcats travel to the Bahamas for three games, Rahe said.
The Wildcats shot 56 percent from the floor, 48 percent (13 of 27) from deep and assisted on 27 of 43 field goals.
Brekkott Chapman scored 15 points, adding four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Caleb Nero scored 14 points with six rebounds and three assists.
Doc Nelson added 14 points, shooting 4 of 4 from the 3-point line. Dima Zdor totaled 14 points and nine rebounds in 14 minutes.
Walk-ons Brenden Morris (five points, four rebounds), Caleb Leonhardt (two points) and Alan Lang (two points) all played in the second half.
Freshmen Spencer Johnson and Tim Fuller, who are coming off two-year missions, did not dress and plan to redshirt this season at their decision, Rahe said.
“Both of them are good enough to play right now for us ... but they’re probably still a couple months away from really getting their bodies back and their games back,” Rahe said. “The last thing I want to do with those two guys ... they’re both going to be really good players for us ... is I did not want to waste their year.”
Weber State (1-1) leaves early next week for the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas, where it will play San Jose State, Central Michigan and Cal State Bakersfield.
WEBER STATE 105, LA VERNE 43
The Weber State women’s team began its season against NAIA foe La Verne University and piled up a big victory Friday evening at the Dee Events Center.
Sophomore Kayla Watkins led the Wildcats with 25 points on 10 of 18 shooting and pulled down 15 rebounds. Shianne Johnson added 19 points. Emily Drake totaled 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman had 15 points, six assists and six rebounds. Freshman Ciara James added 12 rebounds.