College basketball: Weber State holds off Idaho State, 65-59
Ogden • After Weber State's 65-59 victory over Idaho State on Monday night, the Wildcats are once again sitting where everybody in the preseason predicted atop the Big Sky Conference.
Davion Berry scored 23 points and Jordan Richardson added 18 to lead Weber State past the stubborn Bengals at the Dee Events Center.
The Wildcats improved to 8-6 overall and 5-1 in the Big Sky. They share the league lead with Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona.
"I was really proud of our guys," Weber State coach Randy Rahe said. "I thought we played hard and I thought we defended pretty well."
Once again, Berry led the way for the Wildcats, who have won three straight since a loss at Northern Colorado last week knocked them a step behind in the conference race.
"Dev has been playing outstanding basketball," Rahe said. "He's put together a lot of good games. Not just scoring the ball but assisting the ball and rebounding the ball and defending. ... He's in a good rhythm right now. He's in a good mind-state."
Against Idaho State, Weber State seemed home free with six minutes remaining, when the Wildcats owned a 53-41 lead. It was still 59-51 with 1:18 left before the Bengals' Chris Hansen hit a 3-pointer.
After an empty possession for the Wildcats, Hansen drained another 3-pointer with 46 seconds to play, cutting Weber's lead to 59-57.
The Bengals purposely fouled Joel Bolomboy with 37 seconds remaining. He missed, but Richardson tracked down a long rebound.
Rahe called it "the biggest play of the game."
Said Richardson: "I saw the ball loose and just tried to make a hustle play."
The Bengals fouled Richardson with 34.9 seconds left. His two free throws gave Weber State a 61-57 lead before the Wildcats iced their victory when Berry turned a bad pass into a layup.
"I thought we showed a lot of composure down the stretch and found a way [to win]," Rahe said.
The Wildcats got a scare with 4:17 left in the first half when Kyle Tresnak fell into Berry, who injured his ankle and was helped to the locker room.
Berry missed only three possessions, however, before returning. He scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half.
"He showed some toughness and some grit to get back out there and help his team," said Rahe, whose team plays Montana State on Thursday night.
"One game at a time," he said. "Grind away. Find a way. That's what we're going to do."
Weber St. 65,Idaho St. 59
IDAHO ST. (6-9)
Solarin 3-9 2-2 8, Hansen 9-16 4-6 27, Preh 1-3 0-0 2, Sanchez 3-11 5-6 12, Hatchett 3-9 0-2 6, Hall 2-3 0-0 4, Magot 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 11-16 59.
WEBER ST. (8-6)
Berry 6-13 7-8 23, Bolomboy 3-6 1-2 7, Tresnak 2-4 0-0 4, Richardson 5-11 4-5 18, Senglin 0-3 0-0 0, Gittens 1-5 0-0 3, Williams 3-6 0-0 9, Hill 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 20-49 13-17 65.
HalftimeWeber St. 26-22. 3-Point GoalsIdaho St. 6-15 (Hansen 5-10, Sanchez 1-4, Hall 0-1), Weber St. 12-25 (Berry 4-8, Richardson 4-9, Williams 3-4, Gittens 1-2, Senglin 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsIdaho St. 27 (Solarin 9), Weber St. 38 (Bolomboy 16). AssistsIdaho St. 10 (Sanchez 4), Weber St. 14 (Berry 6). Total FoulsIdaho St. 16, Weber St. 14. A6,107.