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Weber State basketball: Scott Bamforth hits big shots to lead Wildcats over Eastern Washington

Published March 9, 2013 10:39 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ogden • Weber State coach thought for a moment about Scott Bamforth's performance Saturday night.

"God bless him," Rahe said, with good reason.

Eastern Washington's tactic of slowing the game, taking the steam out of Weber State's offense, worked. The Eagles trailed by three with less than a minute to play when Bamforth stepped back and calmly snapped the nets with a 3-point basket.

Bamforth's hoop took the starch out of EWU and helped secure a 65-57 victory.

"I just felt like I needed to make a play," Bamforth said. "We just got kind of stagnant and it was a big time in the game. I felt I could get to that shot and knock it down."

The back-breaker was just another in a long line of big baskets in the Dee Events Center for the Wildcat senior, playing his final home game. In fact, both seniors, including Frank Otis, played big down the stretch.

"Hearing the crowd go crazy, it made me want to come back and play again," Otis said.

Bamforth finished with 18 points, including 10 points in the final six minutes. Meanwhile, Otis grabbed 11 rebounds.

"We don't win that game without either one of them," Rahe said.

The victory not only completed a perfect home conference record, it primed WSU (24-5, 18-2 Big Sky) for yet another tactic designed to muddle what has been a cohesive offensive unit.

"We've been waiting for a team to throw that at us," said Rahe, looking forward to Thursday's Big Sky Conference Tournament opener against Northern Arizona. "As a staff, we kind of thought some team is going to do it to us, and they did it tonight."

As Eastern Washington (10-21, 7-13) slowed play, Weber State remained aggressive, too much so as play became rushed and ragged.

The Wildcats, one of the best shooting teams in the nation, managed just 40 percent from the floor. Their defense, however, remained solid.

Eastern Washington managed to make just 35 percent from the floor. Only freshman Tyler Harvey had a good night shooting, scoring 17 points for the Eagles on 6-of-12 shooting.

"Our defense really carried us," Rahe said.

The victory also closed the books on an unprecedented regular season. For the first time, each team in the expanded BSC played 20 league games. Only Montana was better at 19-1.

"If you would have told me back in October that we'd be 18-2 and wouldn't have won the league, I would have been, 'I'm shocked,' " Rahe said. "How many teams are 18-2 in their leagues across the country?"

martyr@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribmarty —

Highlights

R Scott Bamforth scores 18 points, including a 3-pointer with less than a minute remaining to clinch the victory.

• WSU completes an undefeated home Big Sky season at 10-0.