Weber State basketball: Berry, Wildcats beat San Jose for first win
Ogden • In its storied basketball history, Weber State has never started a season with four straight losses.
Davion Berry made sure it stayed that way.
Despite first-half foul trouble and a second-half ankle injury, Berry scored 20 points Saturday night to lead the Wildcats to a 72-55 victory over San Jose State at the Dee Events Center.
Freshman Richaud Gittens added 10 points and Royce Williams added nine as Weber State improved to 1-3 after opening with losses to BYU, Colorado State and Utah State.
"It feels good to get that first one, but that's not our mission," Berry said. "The mission is to get better every day."
After Weber State held San Jose State to 32 percent shooting, coach Randy Rahe saw improvement.
"We got better defensively," he said. "We were a little more urgent. Not that our kids weren't trying hard. But I thought we got a little more consistent."
Asked about the play of Berry, Rahe said, "Dev played like a senior tonight. When we needed something to happen, he created it for us. He hit a couple of big shots and did a good job defensively ... I thought he played really, really well."
Weber State controlled the first half when it built a 23-11 lead. Williams, who scored two points and didn't have a field goal in the Wildcats' first three games, buried back-to-back three-pointers during a 15-5 run.
"We had a good contribution from a lot of people," Rahe said.
San Jose trailed at halftime, 30-22, but used some missed free throws by the Wildcats to rally.
Weber went 2-for-9 from the line during a seven-minute stretch, when the Spartans got 10 points from Rashad Muhammad and took a 45-42 lead.
"We let our defense slip," said Berry, who was on the bench for the beginning of the San Jose comeback because he turned his ankle on a drive to the basket.
After falling behind, however, Weber State quickly got back on track when Williams buried another three-pointer from the corner. He tied the game, 45-45, and started a 15-0 run that left the Wildcats in control.
San Jose went 10 possessions without a point, while Berry scored eight points for Weber State.
"I think he sensed it that he needed to make a play or two," Rahe said. "That's what good players do."
In all, Weber State closed the game by outscoring San Jose State, 30-10.
"I was really proud of our guys," Rahe said. "They felt a lot of pressure to get that first one. I was a little afraid going in it could happen. ... But when [San Jose] took the lead, we responded well."
R Davion Berry scores 20 points and Weber State beats San Jose State 72-55.
• After three straight losses, the Wildcats avoid the first 0-4 start in school history.
• Rashad Muhammad scores 17 points for San Jose, which leads only twice 2-0 and 45-42.