Weber State Basketball 8-0 after an almost wire-to-wire win over Portland State | News, sports, jobs
Robert Casey, Weber State Athletics
Weber State Guard Seikou Sisoho Jawara (5) drives against the Mikal Starks (33) of Portland State at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Saturday, December 4, 2021.
OGDEN – One emerging issue during an 8-0 start for Weber State men’s basketball is the number of players who can take offensive thrusts and who can turn leads into double digits.
Another is defense. In the second game in a row, the Wildcats kept an opponent under 40% field goal shooting and disrupted the flow with steals (eight) and numerous other distractions.
Despite a late nudge from the Portland State visit on Saturday night, Weber State led 37 minutes, 36 seconds and never less than 10 after halftime in an 80-69 win at the Dee Events Center.
PSU led 4-2 early on, then never again.
The WSU newcomer striker Dyson Koehler achieved a career high of 15 points on Thursday. On Saturday it was junior winger Zahir Porter from the bench who picked up the Wildcats, especially in the first half.
Porter scored 11 points in six minutes. He then drained corner 3, two ball possession later from almost the same spot, pumped a fake and drove for a two-handed dunk. He shot 4 of 4 off the foul line in the course and finished it after JJ Overton pushed his steal-up court and alley-ooped Porter for some one-handed stuff.
That made it 31:19 with 7:12 in the first half.
Porter finished with 16 points in 19 minutes.
“Zahir played really well. It was a kind of our team, we have different guys, we had different top scorers in many games, ”said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “We have some who can move up and our boys will share the ball.”
Second placed security guard Seikou Sisoho Jawara led the WSU with 17 points out of five 3-points, four of which came in the first half. He stepped back 3 and struck in the last minute with two free throws to make it 41:29 at halftime.
“They basically tell me if you’re open, shoot it,” said Sisoho Jawara, who shook off a few bad games early on in terms of shooting to get a second game this season in which he got at least four 3 -Points in one made half. “We trust your shot, let go of it even if it doesn’t fall … that really helps me to have the support of my teammates and coaches.”
Weber State (8-0, 2-0 Big Sky) extended that run to a possible 17-6 rally on the other side of half when Dillon Jones cut to the brim on a plate from Koby McEwen for a layup to it 48-30.
Jones finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds. McEwen had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
This started a back and forth in the second half, in which the Vikings (3-4, 1-1) reduced the deficit to 12 or 13 – and twice 10 – and the WSU would push back to 15 or 18.
A Vikings barrel palpated by a Paris Dawson 3-hand cut him off at 57-44; McEwen deflated a deep 3 and Koehler pumped for a drive and dunk to 64-47 with 10:15 remaining.
Marlon Ruffin converted a three-point game for a 69-59 lead; Overton got a steal and a thundering dunk, and Sisoho Jawara made a 3 on a McEwen drive-and-kick to hit the 74-61 with 2:20 remainder.
Center Alex Tew, the only real newcomer to the WSU squad, played crunch time minutes in the center and scored six points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes. Overton finished with eight points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
WSU outdid a Vikings team who love to rush for offensive boards by a 41-37 lead, including 14-11 on the offensive glass.
“We really challenged our boys and did a great job,” said Rahe. “That was the key to the game … I was very happy with our rebound tonight and we got everyone involved.”
Weber State’s toughest tests are now just around the corner and fans can mainly enjoy the track in Ogden.
The Wildcats travel to Washington State on Wednesday (6-2). After a home game against Maine Fort Kent on December 11th, the Wildcats Utah State (6-2), BYU (7-1) and Fresno State (7-1) will receive close non- Conference game.
Washington State, Utah State, and BYU are all in the top 60 in Ken Pomeroy’s statistical rating, and Fresno State is 102nd. Weber State is currently 95th and one of 12 undefeated teams in the country. The Wildcats have won 14 home games in a row.
After Thursday’s show of 2,522 fans was disappointing enough to get McEwen, Jones, and others to express their frustration on social media and hire people with free tickets, there were 3,923 fans on Saturday – although it took until about halftime until they start at this level with a 6pm.
All Saturday home games are scheduled for a tip at 6 p.m., a departure from the usual home games at 7 p.m., with the exception of the game on December 11 against Maine Fort Kent, which takes place at 2:30 p.m.
WSU 85, power pack 57
Weber State women’s basketball shot Portland State 29% in the first half, while 57% shot in both halves to decimate the Vikings and split up the conference road trip.
With a 49:27 lead at halftime, Weber State (3: 4, 1: 1) used a 17: 2 run in the third quarter to fend off the game.
Daryn Hickok led the WSU with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jadyn Matthews added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists and Emma Torbert added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists. Aloma Solovi delivered 10 assists.
WSU is next to travel to Colorado State on Wednesday before returning home for six consecutive home games.
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