OGDEN — Weber State’s Scott Bamforth had a case of the record-breaking blues.
He had tied the all-time record for most made 3-pointers in program history, and the Wildcats looked to be well within control against Air Force in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com tournament Saturday.
But Bamforth and the anxious crowd at the Dee Event Center had to wait.
The senior missed his next attempt with 16:23 remaining. Then he brushed the iron at 12:43. At 9:03, another bounced awry and yet again at 5:40. He had missed four straight. He remained at 246 with former teammate Damian Lillard. Meanwhile, Weber State’s lead had dwindled and the Falcons were within striking distance.
He had waited long enough.
With 5:05 left, Bamforth squared his shoulder, like he had done 246 previous times, gently waved farewell and swished his name into history as the Wildcat faithful stood in admiration. The bucket propelled WSU to a 78-57 win.
“We had a guy here in Damian Lillard who was the hardest-working kid I’ve ever been around,” WSU coach Randy Rahe explained. “I’ll tell you what — Scott Bamforth is not far behind him. Scott lives in the gym. He’s dedicated to getting better. He’s really totally invested himself into the team.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Rahe continued. “What a terrific career — to be the all-time leader in 3-pointers made, be named to the top 50 all-time players at Weber State. But to be honest, I’m as proud of him because of the kind of person he is, the kind of father he is and the kind of husband he is. I’m as proud of that as I am of all his achievements.”
Bamforth finished with 21 points and five 3-pointers as Weber State (28-6) set the program and conference record for most wins in a single season.
“I wouldn’t have ever known about it, (but) my wife tells me all that stuff. She’s into all that,” Bamforth said of the record. “It feels good to beat someone like Dame. Obviously he’s a great shooter. That’s probably the only thing I’ve ever beat him at. That’s the one thing I can always tell him I beat him at.”
The Wildcats built a 38-32 lead at halftime behind Kyle Tresnak, who strung together perhaps his most fluent offensive game of the year with 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting with five rebounds.
“I’m getting in good rhythms at the starts, and making my first couple shots, and it just keeps going,” Tresnak said.
Air Force (18-14) entered with the 13th-highest per game 3-point average in the nation. In the first round of the CIT, the academy hit 15 from beyond the arc. Tonight, WSU limited AF to 4-of-18 shooting.
“That was huge part of the game. When (AF) wins, they make 10 or more. It’s easier said than done with how they play,” Rahe said. “We were switching a lot of stuff tonight — more than we’ve ever switched. We had to because if you don’t they’re going to get open 3s. Our guys did a great job of running them off the line and making the dribble inside the 3-point line. They were very alert and very urgent.”
Without leading scorer Michael Lyons, who missed his second straight game after sustaining a knee injury, Air Force's Taylor Broekhuis tallied a team-high 16 points. Justin Hammonds added 12 points and Todd Fletcher finished with 10 points.
Weber State will host its third-round matchup in Ogden on Wednesday at 7 p.m. It will play the winner of UC Irvine or Oral Roberts. WSU beat Irvine, 65-51, and Oral Roberts, 70-66, this year.
Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @tphibbsami
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company