Weber State basketball: Wildcats roll past Portland State
Ogden • Weber State, on a roll, has a Big Sky Conference championship still in its sights.
Portland State is all about 2014 and played like it.
Two teams. Two directions. Predictable result, with Weber State rolling to an 80-52 victory Thursday night in the Dee Events Center.
In fact, the game was decided a few minutes after the opening tipoff when the Wildcats (23-5, 17-2 BSC) roared out to a 12-0 lead.
A cynic would say the game was worth the price of admission to upper bowl: 50 cents. Weber State opened a 41-13 halftime lead, and the rest was a blur.
"That first, we played like we practiced," said WSU coach Randy Rahe of two short, but crisp training sessions. "We had really good energy, really good enthusiasm, really good spirit, and I thought it really carried over to the first half.
"This time of the year, no matter what kind of season the team might be having, it's easy to let up a little bit."
Weber State lost its focus briefly in the second, but reasserted itself.
Portland State (8-19, 5-14) shot 18 percent in the first half and came out in a zone that played right into hands the sharp-shooting Wildcats, who canned their four of their first five shots, all 3s.
Also, WSU took advantage of all the rebound opportunities, especially Scott Bamforth, who came up with a career-high 12 boards to go with 13 points.
Overall, the 'Cats grabbed 44 rebounds to PSU's 23.
"We're all just trying to rebound," said Bamforth, emphasizing his height, 6-foot-11/2. "As soon as the ball goes up, we're all trying to rebound on defense. If you've got five guys crashing on defense, hopefully one of us gets it."
Bamforth was one of two Wildcats with a double-double Thursday. Freshman Joel Bolomboy, with 11 boards and 10 points, had his fourth of the season.
"I've gained more confidence," the 6-foot-9 center said. "I just try to bring a big spark off the bench when I come in. ... Rebound and play good defense."
With one game remaining in the regular season, Weber State remains a game behind Montana for the Big Sky title and the right to host the postseason tournament.
Odds favor the Grizzlies, but Rahe is pleased about his team's mood, even favoring their video version of the Harlem Shake.
"This time of the year, with any team, it's where is your mindset," Rahe said. "Are the guys excited about coming to practice? That tells me that they're excited to play yet."
Storylines Weber wins 10th straight
R The Wildcats open with a 12-0 run.
• WSU's Scott Bamforth and Joel Bolomboy each have double-doubles.