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Ogden • Always humble, Weber State's Joel Bolomboy credited his teammates for boxing out their opponents and enabling him to match his career high of 23 rebounds Thursday. He also could have thanked Sacramento State and some of the Wildcats for missing a lot of shots.
Weber State's defense and Bolomboy's boarding powered the Wildcats to a 63-50 victory at the Dee Events Center, as coach Randy Rahe tied the Big Sky Conference record for career wins in league play.
In his 10th season, Rahe has a 123-42 record in conference games. Former Montana State coach Mick Durham went 123-117 in 16 years. Rahe can break the league record with a win Saturday against Portland State. He'll also target his 200th win overall.
The record-tying win came in Rahe's preferred style, with his team holding the Hornets to 32.1-percent shooting. Rahe would have welcomed better than a 36.1-percent showing from the 'cats, but their defensive effort kept them from ever being threatened.
As Sacramento State kept missing shots, Bolomboy was grabbing everything.
"He was flying all over," Rahe said. "You could see his instincts. When that ball went up, he was moving to the right spot."
Bolomboy scored 22 points in his third 20-20 game of the season as WSU moved to 17-7 overall, 9-2 in the Big Sky. Jeremy Senglin added 17 points for the Wildcats, who remained a half-game behind league-leading Montana. Justin Strings posted 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Hornets.
WSU bounced back from last weekend's 78-71 loss at North Dakota, where Bolomboy was held to 13 points and eight rebounds. He ranks second in the NCAA with a 13.8 rebounding average.
The Wildcats' offense produced a weird box score. Bolomboy, Senglin, Juwan Williams and Kyndahl Hill combined to make almost half of their shots and score 57 points. The other five players teamed for six points on 2-of-20 shooting. WSU made 1 of its first 10 attempts from the field, but never trailed because Sacramento State was just as ineffective.
"We couldn't really get our offense going, but we just stayed with it," Bolomboy said.
The Wildcats got to the free-throw line and had Bolomboy rebound six of their own missed shots, as they stayed in control all night. Rahe especially liked the 10-point contribution of Williams, a freshman forward who came out of redshirt status in December and previously had hit double figures only in two blowout victories.
Rahe ranks third in all-time winning percentage in Big Sky games at .745, trailing Phil Johnson of Weber State (.886) and Kermit Davis of Idaho (.813).