College basketball: Weber State wins 20th straight home game
Ogden • Kyle Tresnak's bloody nose needed packing. A bandage covered a slight slash underneath Frank Otis' right eye.
And that was after three minutes of play.
Yes, Weber State's 65-51 nonconference victory against UC Irvine the Wildcats' 20th straight in the Dee Events Center on Saturday night was a physical affair.
But it was one in which Weber State (4-2) enjoyed complete control. Even after the Anteaters (4-6) cut WSU's margin to six points late in the second half, there didn't appear to be worry.
"I felt like we needed to make another play and we'd be OK," WSU coach Randy Rahe said. "We were defending them pretty well and so I was pretty confident that when we needed a stop we could come up with one."
And even on a night when Weber State a team that normally shoots 70 percent from the foul line looked nervous at times shooting free throws, it made 10 consecutive attempts to end the game.
WSU had converted just 11 of 25 at one point during the second half.
"I don't know what to say about that," said WSU post Kyle Tresnak, who finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Rahe chose to downplay the situation and his decision paid dividends down the stretch, especially when Tresnak, Otis and others were suddenly facing a series of three-point plays.
"We've been playing hard all season," Tresnak said. "We had a couple letdowns at San Jose [State] and Utah State, but we fixed what we did and adjusted the way we were playing offense and stuff. It's really working right now, really clicking."
Especially for Tresnak, a muscular 6-foot-10 junior from Scottsdale, Ariz., who spent the offseason shedding weight and improving his inside game.
After a slow start against a pair of 7-foot centers at SJSU and USU, Tresnak found his confidence again. In the past three games all WSU wins Tresnak has tallied 52 points and 22 rebounds.
"I grabbed him and told him he's an absolute force," said Rahe, the psychologist. " 'We have nothing but faith and confidence in you. Let's get going, you're fine.' "
The Anteaters entered Saturday's contest as one of the top defensive teams in the Big West Conference.
But Weber State held its own, holding UCI to 35 percent shooting from the floor and only 18 percent from the 3-point line.
While not one Anteater reached double-figure scoring, the Wildcats had three, including Scott Bamforth (11) and Otis (13).
R Weber State holds UC Irvine to 35 percent shooting to win its 20th straight home game.
• Three Wildcats reach double figures, including Kyle Tresnak with 16 points.
• After making just 11 of 25 free throws, WSU ends the game converting 10 straight.