Young players getting better in 74-63 win over Sacramento St.
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Ogden • Weber State boasts arguably the best guard line in the Big Sky Conference.
And during Saturday afternoon's 74-63 victory against visiting Sacramento State in the Dee Events Center, Damian Lillard and Scott Bamforth lived up to their billing, combining for 41 points.
But Weber State also has a physical inside game that accounted for 28 points, including 18 from sophomore center Kyle Tresnak, part of the Wildcats' (10-3, 2-0) young, but rapidly developing inside game.
The 6-foot-10, 255-pound center started the WSU point parade early and remained a factor throughout Weber State's fourth consecutive victory, hitting 9 of 12 shots.
"We were trying to go inside. It started to work in the beginning, and we kept doing it," Tresnak said. "[Sacramento State] has really good bigs. I just found my opportunities to get baskets.
"We've just been working hard in practice. It's a process we have to work on."
Tresnak and freshman James Hajek are carbon copies, while senior forwards Darin Mahoney and sophomore Byron Fulton offer outside games that force opposing big men away from the basket.
It is this inside-outside game that has continued to drive Weber State toward a possible BSC championship. Now, the Wildcats head west to Eastern Washington and Portland for their first road games.
"Our bigs are all playing really well," Bamforth said. "We try to get them touches as much as we can. Our first play of the game is always to throw it inside."
Although Sacramento State (5-8, 0-2) stayed within 15 points most of the afternoon, the game's outcome was never really in doubt.
"We had a much better look today," WSU coach Randy Rahe said. "They really responded in practice yesterday. You could see it in their eyes.
"We were two shots away from blowing it open."
Coming off a lackluster performance two days earlier, Weber State jumped out to a 15-5 lead and maintained control. The Wildcats maintained a strong hold over the game despite Lillard not scoring until he converted two foul shots midway through the first period.
Tresnak had eight points in the first five minutes as WSU aggressively pushed the ball inside. The Wildcats also played under control with just six turnovers.
"[Tresnak] got that first one to go and got his confidence up," Rahe said. "He's tough to deal with when he plays with force."