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Ogden • Weber State, after almost a month away from the Dee Events Center, got back on its home court Thursday.
And while the road recently has been both good and kind of strange to the Wildcats, Weber's players were certainly happy to play host to Idaho. Of course, winning by an easy 91-66 count made everything that much better as the Wildcats remained the only unbeaten team early in the Big Sky schedule.
"It felt good. We've been on the road for awhile," said Weber State senior Kyndal Hill, who finished with 14 points. "Just getting back and playing in front of our fans was a really good thing."
The Wildcats' last appearance in Ogden was a Dec. 17 victory over Utah Valley. Since then, Weber State (8-6, 3-0) beat Utah State and Montana State on the road.
But the last outing for Weber, last Friday at Idaho State, ended prematurely when the Bengals' arena in Pocatello started leaking from the roof. That game will resume, with the Wildcats up 13-2 five minutes into the contest, on Jan. 25.
"That was weird when it happened up there, because I don't think it's happened to anybody. But we got over that and were ready for tonight," said Jeremy Senglin, Weber State's scoring leader with 21 against Idaho.
"You know, we hadn't played a full game in 12 days and I was really concerned about that," WSU coach Randy Rahe said. "Because we had good rhythm before that and I was a little afraid we might lose it."
For the first 10 minutes, the Vandals (6-10, 1-3) stayed close with tough inside play. But the tide started to turn when Senglin swished a couple of buckets that were released just before the shot clock ran out.
The first was a long jumper with two Idaho players keyed on the Weber senior. The second, 8:57 left in the first half, was a 3-pointer that gave the Wildcats a 22-16 lead.
In the last five minutes before intermission, Weber State went on a 16-4 run and Rahe thought his team was buoyed by Senglin's clutch shooting.
"I think he likes it, to be honest with you," said Rahe of time running out on the shot clock. "It's like getting a big dunk, it's a momentum deal and our guys feel it. They gain a lot of confidence when Jeremy hits shots like that."
Ryan Richardson (13 points), Dusty Baker (11) and freshman Jerrick Harding (11) also joined Hill and Senglin in double-digit scoring as all three connected on at least two 3-pointers.
Harding recently became a regular part of the rotation when senior guard Richaud Gittens suffered a season-ending foot injury during a December practice.
Idaho's leading scorer was Victor Sanders with 13 points, but that was down from his season average of 19.2 as Weber's Cody John and others kept him in check.
"We can't keep one guy on him, we have to keep fresh guys in there," Rahe said. "But overall I think we did about as good of a job as you can do on him, because he can score in bunches."
Weber State's next game will also be at home on Saturday against Eastern Washington in a matchup of the last two Big Sky champs.
• A 16-4 run at the end of the first half gave Weber State a 43-26 advantage in the Wildcats' first home game in almost a month.
• Jeremy Senglin scored 21 points while four other Wildcats joined him in double figures.
• It was Weber's first game since its road contest last Friday at Idaho State was postponed due to a leaky arena roof.