Boise State University sandwiched 11 free throws and a tipin around five points from Weber State center David Baldwin to crush the Wildcats 80-63 Friday night.
Even with the loss, Weber should qualify for the Big Sky tournament next week.Weber Coach Denny Huston insists Weber will be ready for Northern Arizona tonight at home as the Wildcats hope to post a win and earn the tournament berth outright.
"There's no way I want to go into the tournament 6-10," Huston said.
"We've never been dissected like that before," Huston said in reference to Friday's loss. "That's the best basketball team in the Big Sky, hands down."
Weber led exactly twice against Boise, 2-0 and 4-3. After Weber knotted the score at 6-6, the Broncos ran off the next five points and were never headed the rest of the night. Boise went up by 11 at 28-17 only to see Weber close the gap to six at 30-24 at the half as freshman Jimmy DeGraffenried nailed a trey to close the scoring.
In the second half, Weber never could get closer than three. Every time the Wildcats seemed ready to pounce, a turnover would take away the momentum.
Three straight turnovers midway through the second half allowed Boise to run off seven unanswered points, and Weber never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
After a quiet five-point effort in the first half, Boise center Tanoka Beard, from Ogden's Bonneville High, came alive for 13 second-half tallies. His tipin of a missed free throw with 2:03 remaining put the Boise signature on the win. It was all free throws the rest of the way for the Broncos.
Weber made a brief run early in the second half led by forward Aaron Bell, who sat out most of the first half with foul trouble.
"Bell's foul trouble hurt us. He was the only one that seemed able to attack the basket," Huston said. "They're defense was superb; they ran us out of everything we tried to do."
The win was Boise's seventh in a row and ninth in its last 10 as the Broncos upped their season record to 18-9 and 10-6 in conference play.
Beard and Michael Trotter led the attack with 18 points each while Jeff Sanor chipped in 17. Billy Fikes and Dan Jones also scored in doubles with 11 and 10 respectively.
For the Wildcats, Baldwin led the attack with 20 and game-high honors. The only other Wildcat in double figures was Al Hamilton with 14. Weber stands at 11-15 on the year and 6-9 in conference play.