OGDEN — The Arizona Christian Firestorm ran into a snowstorm literally and a purple storm figuratively.
With frigid conditions outside, Weber State (1-0) led by as many as 58 points late in the second half and extended the sixth-longest active home win streak to 18 inside the Dee Events Center Friday with a 110-52 win on opening night.
“In these kind of games it’s easy to get sloppy. It’s easy to quit playing the way you’re supposed to play. It’s easy to give into defending 50 percent. But I thought our guys didn’t,” Wildcats coach Randy Rahe said. “I thought our guys executed our sets (and) guarded hard even though the score was getting out of control. I thought even though that team wasn’t the highest quality we’re going to see — we did some things that made us better tonight.”
The ‘Cats finished with a 40-16 advantage in the paint and 32 second-chance points. Offensively, seven different players reached double-digit scoring courtesy of 28 assists.
“That’s an incredibly high number, so it tells me we’ve got a team that will share it,” Rahe said. “If they have a decent shot they’re going to move it to get a better shot. We’ve got good shooters, don’t get me wrong, but (25) 3-pointers — we’ll never take that many again. I promise you that.”
Physically, Weber State frustrated the Firestorm (0-1) into 18-of-68 shooting and 18 turnovers.
“Obviously, I appreciate Arizona Christian coming up. We scheduled this game for a reason because we’ve got three really, really tough road games coming up,” Rahe explained. “I knew that we were going to have a younger, inexperienced team in a lot of areas. We wanted to see a lot of guys on the floor and get our confidence up a little bit before we take it on the road next week.”
For the second straight game Davion Berry led the team in scoring with 17 points. With a huge scoring void left by now-Portland Trailblazer guard Damian Lillard, Berry is hoping to help pick up the slack.
“I’m feeling good, but I’m not worried about that,” Berry said of his offensive numbers. “I’m just worried about doing what’s best for the team and playing defense and doing the little things to help the team win.”
Freshman Joel Bolomoboy opened his college debut with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The athletic 6-foot-9 hybrid forward from Fort Worth, Texas scored most of his buckets off the glass and added a one-handed alley-oop with 22 seconds remaining.
“I just tried to come out hard, get every rebound and play hard,” Bolomoboy said. “That was my goal. My coaches push me to try and get 10 rebounds and the points just came. My teammates set me up for open shots and got them off of offensive rebounds.”
The Wildcats now enter a three-game road trip at San Jose State, Utah State and Dayton.
“We’ve thrown so much at them that they’re not totally comfortable with what we’re doing yet,” Rahe said. “So, you get a game like this and they have some success it makes them feel better the next time they go out there.”