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For a second straight home contest, the Weber State men's basketball team welcomed a team with a rather woeful win-loss record to its credit.
As opposed to a Northern Arizona team Thursday that they struggled to put away for good, the Wildcats didn't waste any time in burying Southern Utah (4-15, 2-7) Saturday night.
Weber State (15-6, 7-1) raced to a 29-point halftime lead in the Big Sky contest and rolled to a 77-50 victory.
"In practice, a couple of days ago, Coach [Randy] Rahe asked us if we were having any fun," said sophomore Ryan Richardson, who led the 'Cats with 17 points. "Because we had got really serious. So we was like, 'Let's just go out and have fun today.' So we went out and did that."
"I really liked our energy tonight. The other night, I really felt like we played like we were stressed out," Rahe said. "We played like we had the weight of the world on our shoulders, which I don't understand why."
Outside shooting accuracy was a beneficiary of a looser attitude, according to Rahe, and Richardson as well as McKay Cannon popped 3-pointers in the first three minutes.
When 6-foot-9 frosh Zach Braxton got a couple of quick fouls, junior Kyndal Hill made a quicker than usual entrance into the game and Hill's bucket five minutes in gave Weber its first double-digit lead at 14-4.
Another player who got into the rotation in a much earlier spot was freshman Juwan Williams, who made an impression with 13 points. He also made the defensive play of the night by thwarting a Southern Utah fastbreak with a high-flying block.
Williams' swat quickly led to a Cody John bucket on the other end of the court, with 6:01 left in the first half, and John finished the three-point play with a free throw for a 33-12 lead.
"He watched Joel [Bolomboy] do it a couple of times," joked Richardson of Williams' block.
"Going forward, I think this is a huge game for us," Williams said. "The last couple of games, we kind of got away from what we were playing up to speed, playing fast, playing our brand of basketball. Tonight I feel we got back to it."
Bolomboy had his usual double-double. In fact, the senior forward had 13 rebounds in the first half en route to a 12-point, 16-board night. The visiting Thunderbirds were led by 10 points from Casey Oliverson, who played his high school ball at Sky View.
Weber State plays at Northern Colorado on Thursday while Southern Utah will host Idaho on the same night.
"We had to get back to having fun competing," Rahe said. "I asked them Friday, 'Do you guys like playing college basketball?' We needed to act like we were having fun and actually have fun." Storylines
* Weber State scored the game's first eight points and then registered a 14-2 run to race out to a 23-6 lead.
* Sophomore guard Ryan Richardson led the Wildcats with 17 points while reserve Juwan Williams came off the bench to score 13.
* Senior Wildcats center Joel Bolomboy yanked down 13 rebounds in the first half en route to 16 overall as he also scored a dozen.