College basketball • 'Cats see few problems from Bears.
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Ogden • Weber State, undefeated three games into its Big Sky Conference season, has provided tantalizing glimpses into what it could become.
Its improvement continued Thursday as Northern Colorado presented few problems for the Wildcats. For example, WSU managed just one free throw during the first four minutes of the second half and still owned a 14-point advantage.
Once Scott Bamforth and Jordan Richardson broke the mini-slump with back-to-back 3-pointers, Weber State quickly pushed out to a 20-point lead and rolled to an easy 79-54 final in the Dee Events Center.
"We got off to a good lead," WSU center Kyle Tresnak said. "Our defense really set that off. Our offense, we were just moving the ball around a lot and making sure we got the best shot we could.
"We were passing good shots up to get great shots."
WSU (8-3, 3-0) eventually blew out to a 32-point lead late on a pair of baskets by Royce Williams before Northern Colorado finished the game on a 7-0 run.
Bamforth, who emerged from an early-season shooting slump, enjoyed his best production of the season. The senior guard scored 17 points in a scintillating first half. Bamforth, now fourth all-time in school history from the 3-point line with 179 made, finished with 22 points. He was 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
"Early in the season I was trying to play perfect," he said. "I can't play that way. I have to play free, and if I mess up, I mess up. I'm far from perfect, and when you try to be perfect you're going to play worse."
Weber State, a season removed from a second-place conference finish, may be better in 2012. For sure, the versatile, deep Wildcats have embraced coach Randy Rahe's team concept on offense as well as defense.
"I always think we should get a lot better," Rahe said. "I'm pleased with how this team has come together, how well they're playing together. The chemistry is good, they like each other and they're really unselfish."
The Wildcats, who finished with 17 assists and 55 percent shooting, often bypassed an open look for a better one. Five Wildcats had two or more assists, including Davion Berry with five.
Meanwhile, the Bears (3-8, 1-2) were pressured into 21 turnovers and 38 percent shooting. Northern Colorado's ball-handers wilted under WSU's pressure, allowing the Wildcats to score 25 points off of Bear turnovers.
"If we continue to improve and that's the hardest thing the sky's the limit," Bamforth said.
And maybe a Big Sky championship.
Storylines Wildcats romp
R Weber State scores the first seven points and never trails against Northern Colorado.
• Scott Bamforth scores 17 points in the first half to key WSU's attack.