Weber State basketball: Wildcats crush North Dakota
Ogden • Surely, it will become more difficult to win in the Big Sky Conference. So far, it's been mighty easy for Weber State.
The Wildcats have played four league games and, excluding the overtime victory at Portland State, have blown out each opponent by an average of 26 points. This included Saturday's 95-63 rout of North Dakota in the Dee Events Center.
It was the school's largest margin of victory since beating Sacramento State by 36 points in 2009.
"Our defensive urgency was pretty good," WSU coach Randy Rahe said. "We defended really well and that kind of set the tone and we got the transition going, which is good for our team.
"We got good contributions from everybody who played."
Certainly, North Dakota (4-9, 1-3) could not slow WSU wing Davion Berry. Often, it was Berry aggressively triggering the break, finishing his controlled rush upcourt with a basket or an assist.
"I just wanted to keep attacking like coach tells me," Berry said. "I always want to give my teammates shots.
"We got stuff to prove. None of us has won a championship here. Coach tells us that every day so we're hungry."
The junior college transfer from Cal State Monterey Bay finished with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists as WSU opened a 30-point advantage midway though the second half.
"He had those wide eyes tonight," Rahe said. "He can affect the game in so many ways. We need him to be a stat-stuffer kind of guy. He loves setting up his teammates, too."
The Wildcats grabbed 46 rebounds, which fueled transition opportunities.
Conference newcomer UND converted a frosty 16 percent of its shots in the first half. UND guard Aaron Anderson, the BSC's leading scorer, finished the game with 23 hard-fought points.
"We were just playing the way we were taught on defense," said WSU center Kyle Tresnak, his team's leading scorer with 22 points. "No middle penetration, no 3s, no layups. Just make them shoot tough shots, and we were able to do that the first half."
Scott Bamforth, Berry and Tresnak were a combined 13 of 18 from the field in the first half for 44 points. They finished with a combined 61 points, while Gelaun Wheelwright added 13 points off the bench to go with three assists.
Weber State spread out the assists, with four players getting three or more. The extra pass led to WSU's high shooting percentage.
Even the Wildcats' free-throw performance improved. Last year, they were the best in the nation. So far in 2013 that hasn't been the case, but WSU did improve Saturday, making 20 of 24 attempts.
Weber State continues BSC play Thursday at Southern Utah.
Storylines Wildcats get rout
R Weber State, paced by Joel Bolomboy's 11, outrebounded North Dakota 46-26.
• Scott Bamforth scored 19 points and was one of four WSU players with three or more assists.