OGDEN — With his team's first game in two weeks, head coach Randy Rahe had three goals for Weber State men's basketball in its contest Saturday against Yellowstone Christian College: one, simply get on the court; two, play his entire roster with balanced minutes; and three, have fun.
"You never know when you'll get to play these days with COVID, so I really wanted the guys to just enjoy being able to play," Rahe said.
With the first two boxes checked, the third became obvious late when walk-on and Davis High alum Josh Sanders nailed a pair of 3-pointers to help set a new team record for 3-pointers in a game, and the bench erupted.
All told, the Wildcats shot 22 of 33 from deep and tied a team record for largest margin of victory, dispatching the Centurions 124-44 at the Dee Events Center.
Highlighting the afternoon: sophomore guard Darweshi Hunter — who had played all of five minutes this season after his transfer eligibility status changed in-season — led Weber State with 17 points, six made field goals and a 4-of-4 mark from the 3-point line in a team-high 22 minutes.
Hunter appeared confident and fluid in his minutes Saturday, and Rahe reiterated his goal to work Hunter into the regular rotation.
"I was just trying to get better, go hard every day at practice and now I'm just trying to work my way into the lineup ... and make the best of it," Hunter said. "Because originally I wasn't supposed to play ... I'm just happy to be playing."
All 12 scholarship players saw the floor Saturday, with starters logging between 15-18 minutes ahead of their Sunday night matchup against Tarleton State, and Sanders shared the floor with fellow walk-ons Jake Furgerson and Mitch Brizee for the final five minutes. All 15 players to enter the game scored.
Behind Hunter's 17 points, Michal Kozak scored 14 points, Dontay Bassett 13 and Cody Carlson 12. Zahir Porter and Dillon Jones each scored nine points, and Sanders and Isiah Brown had eight.
Weber State (5-3) set its second-highest mark in program history for assists in a game, assisting on 37 of 47 makes. KJ Cunningham dished six assists, Hunter and Seikou Sisoho Jawara each had five, and Brown and Kham Davis passed out four helpers.
Big man David Nzekwesi ended the first half with a baseline jumper and a 3-pointer, and Jones drilled a corner 3 before the buzzer for a 53-24 lead at the half.
Nzekwesi's 3, Sanders and Furgerson making shots late, and a Jones-to-Cunningham alley-oop dunk midway through the second half, especially, brought out big reactions from Weber's spaced-out bench area.
"It felt good. The guys who don't normally get as many minutes, we're in practice going hard. So it felt like everybody deserved to get in the game and get that opportunity," Hunter said. "Everybody was happy for each other, which is how it should be as a team."