Big Sky Conference • Tired Weber St. squeaks past Bobcats.
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Ogden • A sloppy Weber State defeated Montana State on Saturday. And as Weber State coach Randy Rahe prepared for postgame questions and answers, he offered a tired sigh and a lengthy explanation.
Rahe's Wildcats had just completed their sixth straight victory, a workmanlike 69-61 effort against Montana State in the Dee Events Center.
In a physical contest, Weber State (19-5, 14-2 Big Sky), was hit with stretches of chaotic, frantic basketball. The Wildcats committed 15 turnovers several of them unforced.
Rahe didn't question his team's effort, especially after playing three games in one week and four in eight days. This followed a four-game road stretch that included a lengthy trip to North Dakota.
"Siberia, or wherever," he said. "It took forever to get there.
"It wasn't our best effort tonight. But I was really proud of our guys. ... This has been a really long stretch for our guys, and I'm really proud of how we got through it."
The Wildcats can now rest until their BracketBuster game at Oral Roberts on Saturday.
"Tonight we felt like we were a little low in emotion," Rahe said.
Even so, WSU was the best team on the floor. The Wildcats shot 64 percent and never trailed.
Forward Davion Berry converted his seven shot attempts and all four free throws for 21 points, to go with five assists. He even added a Dikembe Mutombo finger wag after blocking a shot.
"I was just trying to get my teammates pumped," Berry said. "We were just down on our energy tonight."
Jordan Richardson was just as efficient, sinking 7 of 9 shots for 16 points. Frank Otis and Scott Bamforth added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
"It was tough," Berry said. "We owed Montana State something when we lost up there," Berry said.
It was on defense that Montana State (10-14, 7-9) exploited Weber State's weary minds. The Bobcats scored on a season-high nine 3-pointers.
Weber State buckled down, held MSU to 37 percent shooting in the second half and went on a 15-2 run to sew up the game.
"We played better defense," Richardson said. "Coach Rahe was kind of upset. He addressed it, and we got it done."
Storylines Weber does just enough
R Weber State wins its sixth consecutive game, shooting 64 percent from the floor.