OGDEN Entering Friday night's game against Montana-Western, Weber State had only one player averaging more than nine points per game.
In snapping a 4-game losing streak, the Wildcats had five players reach double figures and another three score eight or more. A shot or two here or there and WSU easily could have had eight players with at least 10 points.
The result of that balance was a tighter-than-preferred 94-84 win over the Bulldogs in front of a sparse 2,021 fans at the Dee Events Center.
And while coach Randy Rahe was pleased with his team's offensive performance, he could only shake his head in contemplating the woeful defensive effort.
"We addressed our offensive execution and taking care of the ball all week in practice," Rahe said, "and it showed. On defense, we still have some work to do."
UMW, an NAIA school, came into the building with nothing to lose. For the Bulldogs, the game counted as an exhibition, and represented a chance to shock a Division I program.
The Wildcats were never seriously threatened by the undermanned and outmatched Bulldogs but they were also never really able to put the game away.
Paced by Kellen McCoy's 19 points a career high for the 5-foot-6 backup point guard WSU led 48-35 at the half and never trailed in the game.
Montana-Western with no player taller than 6-foot-7 on its 10-man roster prevented the 'Cats from getting too comfortable for much of the game, though, by knocking down a bundle of 3-pointers. The Bulldogs, anything but shy about firing up long-range shots, nailed 9-of-13 3-point attempts in the second half and made 13 overall to stay within striking distance before WSU was able to pull away over the final seconds.
"We've got to get better defensively," McCoy said. "We didn't show a good effort on defense at all."
Weber State, 3-6, enjoyed a 57-percent shooting night to score a season high in points. They, too, were able to score frequently from downtown as the team shot 50 percent (10-of-20) from beyond the arc. .
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