Weber State Men’s Basketball Recap: Wildcats Dominate from Beyond the Arch to Secure Third Victory

Weber State Men’s Basketball Recap: Wildcats Dominate from Beyond the Arch to Secure Third Victory

by Zachary Knecht

Featured Image: Photo by Eric Jensen of KSL Sports

It was all Weber State in this game as the Wildcats cruised passed St. Martin’s Saints 82-58 for their third win in the early campaign. The victory brings WSU to 3-7 on the season with a 2-1 record in front of their home crowd.

The Wildcats came out hot and didn’t take their foot off the gas, shooting an efficient 50.9% from the field and a dominant 50% from three. The offensive resurgence was led by guard Steven Verplancken Jr. With 21 points, one assist, and one rebound, Verplancken was 5-7 beyond the arch and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line.

The shooting was contagious for Weber State with guard Junior Ballard joining the fun. Ballard recorded 15 points from off the bench, going 3-4 from three, including a buzzer-beater before the half to give the Wildcats a 40-26 lead.

Star forward Dillon Jones continued to do what he does best with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. He paired that with a respectable two steals in his 31 minutes on the floor.

WSU had a stranglehold on this game on both sides of the ball. No Saints starter showcased more than 10 points in the showdown, but guard Branden Bunn put up 12 points off the bench. They shot abysmally in this one, barely shooting 50% from the free-throw line.

Collectively, the Wildcats showed signs of promise moving forward. They shot well on the floor and at the free-throw line, hitting 82.4% of their shots in the team’s highest-scoring outburst of the season. The ‘Cats were also able to spread the ball around with 16 assists in the matchup, something they have struggled to do to this point in the year.

It wasn’t all positive, though. There were a couple of downsides to WSUs performance: turnovers and offensive rebounds.

Turnovers have continued to be an issue for Weber State. They did turn the ball over less than their opponent, but only by a slim 18-17 margin. In any typical game, these numbers aren’t atrocious, but against a Division II opponent, there needs to be better execution. Protect the ball, and don’t miss opportunities. It didn’t hurt them in this 24-point wrought, but these missed chances will only come to bite them down the road.

The same goes for offensive rebounds. The Wildcats were outrebounded on offense 10-9 against the Saints. This team needs to give themselves more chances to work altogether. It’s not every game that the roster will shoot so efficiently. Give the shooters more opportunities to make something happen.

Next for the Wildcats, they will go to California to play the Cal Poly Mustangs, where they hope to end their road-game sorrows.

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