by Max Westerman | On December 8th, Weber State beat the Westminster Griffins 85-73. WSU played like a team in their second game of the season while their Division II counterpart appeared more polished competed in their 5th game of the season. The Wildcats came out strong in the first half thanks to some hot three-point shooting. After a cold seven-minute stretch where the Wildcats scored less than a point a per minute, Zahir Porter was fouled on a successful three-point attempt from the left corner sending him to the line where he completed the 4-point play. Two Isiah Brown threes later and the score at half was 51-31. In the second half, Weber State turned the ball over nine times compared to only four in the first half which allowed Westminster to outscore WSU by eight in the half. Weber State let their foot off the gas and scored a mere nine points over a 10-minute stretch between 12:35 and 2:45 left in the half.
“We’re not sure of ourselves,” Coach Rahe said. “We’re just not. You know, it’s our second game and we’re still trying to figure things out.”
Three players scored in double figures as Cody Carlson, Porter, and Brown again led the Cats in point production, accounting for 58 of the team’s 85 points. Dillon Jones contributed off the bench with six points, five rebounds three assists and two steals. Michal Kozak gathered seven boards and five blocks as Weber State forced 19 turnovers.
Coach Rahe summed it up well explaining that his team still has a lot of work to do. While they were happy to get the W, he would have preferred his team executing more efficiently.
Boise State recap
Over the weekend, Weber State was set to play its first Division I opponent. WSU expected to play their Utah neighbor in Utah State but after Aggie players tested positive, the Wildcats pivoted. They scheduled a last-minute game with a quality Division I opponent in Boise State University. Weber State again came out hot pulling out to a 12-7 lead and forcing BSU head coach Leon Rice to call an early timeout. BSU responded with a 13-0 run out of the timeout and took the lead once and for all. Weber State came within a point with 14:13 left to go in the second half but that was as close as they got. The Broncos scored the next 11 points which ended up being the final point differential in the 70-59 score when the final horn sounded. Boise State’s leading scorer Derrick Alston sank five of seven three-pointers and carried the Broncos to a solid 4-1 start to their season.
Once again, Brown led the Wildcats in scoring with 18 points. Cody Carlson scored in double digits for the third straight game and is now shooting a ridiculous 85 percent from the field through three contests. Kozak showed up in the paint with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots bringing his total to eight in the past two games.
Coach Rahe repeated his mantra from the game before explaining that the Wildcats simply need more games under their belt in order to feel more comfortable. WSU got a lot of open looks but couldn’t convert. BSU was a great D-I test for the Wildcats. Next up is Portland State University on December 18th for the first of two games in a row against the Vikings.
Notes through three games
So far, Weber State has dealt with two cancellations each of which have increased the time off separating their first three games.
The first cancellation came after their win against Adams State when their matchup with Dixie State was cancelled due to a possible positive Covid test within the Weber State program. Their game against Utah State was cancelled this past weekend when an Aggies player tested positive.
Interestingly enough, Utah State and Dixie State were scheduled to play each other on December 15th but that game also had to be canceled due to Covid protocols. As WSU begins to build its chemistry and confidence, these large lapses between games may be a factor in slowing their progression. By December 15th last year, WSU had played 10 games.
Featured image courtesy Weber State Athletics