OGDEN Randy Rahe knew it was coming. What he was concerned with, though, was how his Weber State basketball team would respond to it.
Turns out he had little to worry about.
In fact, after Cal State-Bakersfield trimmed the Wildcats' 29-20 halftime lead to just five at 34-29, Rahe's kids turned the intensity up a couple of notches and ran away for a dominating 74-43 victory.
"I thought we played really well on both ends of the floor," Rahe said, noting WSU's 53-percent shooting and the Roadrunners' 34-percent effort.
That defense, especially, had the second-year coach in a good mood.
After allowing an NAIA school to score 84 points and knock down 55 percent of its shots in the last game, Rahe spent a majority of the time in practice the last few days harping on defensive fundamentals.
The extra attention paid off.
"That's really the only thing we've been practicing," senior guard Dezmon Harris said. "I know they say it all the time, but defense wins games and today we really focused on it."
Harris had a solid game for the 'Cats (4-6).
Scoring 16 points, Harris made 5-of-6 shots including all four of his 3-point attempts. With Daviin Davis and Kellen McCoy each adding 13, the Wildcats had plenty of balance to offset a seemingly sub-par night from the post players.
And although the likes of Arturas Valeika (8 points, 6 rebounds) and Tyler Billings (2 points, 5 boards) might not have lit up the scoreboard, the rest of the team was doing its share.
In all, Weber State made a dozen 3-pointers 9-of-14 in the second half to survive any rally CSUB put together.
After the Roadrunners (1-10) made that early run in the second half, WSU got a flurry of points from the outside as Body Van Brocklin hit a pair of treys as did McCoy. Harris added one of his own and Davis threw down a monstrous slam dunk through traffic that was all part of a 15-0 run that put the game pretty much out of reach.
"They gave us those looks and we've got good shooters," Rahe said. "I've known that all along."
Weber State had perhaps its best half of ball control of the season.
With 14 assists and just three turnovers in the second half, the Wildcats patiently waited for open shots and then, sometimes to Rahe's frustration, passed them up for even better looks as they shot 61 percent over the final 20 minutes.
In picking up the win, WSU held CSUB leading scorer Terrance Johns scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting. Only Trent Blakley hit double figures for the Roadrunners with 15 points.The win gave WSU an actual winning streak for the first time this year and gives the 'Cats a nice boost of confidence as they travel to New Mexico for the final non-conference road game of the season on Sunday. WSU returns to the Dee Events Center on Dec. 28 against San Francisco.
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