Wildcats end 15 year drought against BYU

Japheth Pleasant

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(Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

Just hours after the football team advanced to the third round of the FCS playoffs, the Weber State men’s basketball team sent in-state rival BYU back to Provo with a 113–103 win. The victory snapped the 15-game streak of the Cougars over the Wildcats.

“It was good to end that drought and it was a fun game to play,” Wildcat guard Jerrick Harding said.

BYU came into Ogden with a 5-3 record after losing their previous two games against the University of Houston and Illinois State. For the Wildcats, this win improves their record to 5-2 in the early season.

The first half was a story of Weber State versus BYU’s leading scorer and rebounder, Yoeli Childs. He led all scorers with 16 at the half, but nobody for the Cougars team had scored in double figures.

In opposition to Childs’ one-man wrecking crew, the Wildcats had three scorers in double figures leading to a one point lead on a buzzer-beater to end the half.

Weber State kept themselves in the game with their three-point shooting, going 6 of 16, while the Cougars only made one three-pointer the entire half.

Harding netted 12 points in 12 minutes in the first half, ultimately finishing the game with a team-high 30 (11-17).

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WSU Men’s basketball took on the BYU Cougars on Satuday at the Dee Events Center. (Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)

“We tried almost every guy we had on him. Luckily, he got in foul trouble in the first half or he would have scored 50,” BYU coach Dave Rose said.

Once the second half started, the momentum shifted to Weber State who got out to an 11 point lead with 13:35 left to play.

BYU guard Jahshire Hardnett and Childs did all they could to keep the Cougars in the game after trailing 15 at one point. However, winning is an uphill battle when only two players score over 8 points the entire game. Hardnett finished with a career high of 24 points (11-15), while Childs led all scorers with 31 points (13-23), adding seven rebounds. The Cougars second leading scorer on the season, TJ Haws was held to 8 points (1-9).

BYU, electing to play the foul game in the fourth quarter, cut the lead down to 8 with two minutes to go in the game. The veteran leadership of the Wildcats helped weather the storm and come out with the victory. The junior backcourt of Harding and his back court counterpart Cody John led Weber State in scoring, combining for 52 points.

“I feel being the veterans we have to step up in big moments, and I feel like we’ve been doing that so far this season, and we have to keep it going,” Harding said.

The Wildcats head to Fresno Wednesday to take on Fresno State before returning to face Utah State in the Beehive Classic in Salt Lake on Saturday December 8 at 2:30 p.m. The atmosphere is sure to be lively for that rivalry as well.

“We’re very thankful for all of our fans and it’s so fun playing in an environment like that, so hopefully we can get that same support all season,” said John.

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No. 12 Israel Barnes attempts to block BYU from scoring in the second period. (Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)
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No. 0 Caleb Nero takes the ball down the court against BYU’s No. 24 McKay Cannon, a former member of Weber’s basketball team. (Kelly Watkins / The Signpost)