A Thunderbird throwdown

Simon Mortensen

Dominant performances from guards Seikou Sisoho Jawara and Koby McEwen led Weber State University’s men’s basketball team to a 92–84 victory over Southern Utah University on Jan. 24.

Weber State's Koby McEwen pushes against Idaho State's defense. (Weber State Athletics)
Weber State's Koby McEwen pushes against Idaho State's defense. (Weber State Athletics)

The Thunderbirds struck first, with Jason Spurgin putting back an offensive rebound inside. A free throw from forward JJ Overton put Weber State on the board, but it was a jumper at the top of the key from center Dontay Bassett that set the tone for the match.

Nearly three minutes in, SUU guard John Knight III led a fast break off a steal. Knight drove inside, then dished it out to guard Dre Marin in the corner for the first 3-pointer of the night. Marin went back-to-back from behind the arc to put the Thunderbirds up 10–3.

With a response needed, Bassett made a 3-pointer off an assist from McEwen. Bassett turned the match into a game again by making a layup and a free throw to cut the lead to 1.

After a layup from Knight, Wildcat guard Zahir Porter fouled Thunderbird forward Maizen Fausett from behind the arc. Fausett made all three of his shots from the line. Weber State center Alex Tew responded with a dunk over Marin off an assist from Sisoho Jawara.

During a timeout, it was clear to see that the Wildcats were in a hostile environment. One fan in particular held up a sign that said, “Weber, you’re a disgrace to Dame,” referring to former WSU basketball player Damian Lillard, who currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. It was after that timeout that Dillon Jones nailed two 3-pointers to make it a one-point game again.

After a catch-and-shoot 3 from Marin, Sisoho Jawara went on a run. The guard crossed up Knight to hit a jumper and draw a foul. Sisoho Jawara converted on the and-1 and hit a 3-pointer over Knight shortly after, putting the Wildcats up 28–26.

Passing over the momentum, Sisoho Jawara threw a one-handed pass to McEwen for a corner 3-pointer. McEwen was able to score 7 points after to put Weber State up at the half 44–35.

Seikou Sisoho Jawara (#5) jumps for the ball against SUU. (Weber State Athletics)
Seikou Sisoho Jawara (#5) jumps for the ball against SUU. (Weber State Athletics)

Dre Marin scored the first points of the half off of a fast break layup. McEwen responded by hitting a 3-point jumper. Bassett then hit back-to-back 3s, both off assists from McEwen. With under 17 minutes to go, McEwen faked a drive inside and shot another 3-pointer to put the Wildcats up by 20 points.

With under nine minutes to go, Weber State still led by a wide margin. However, Fausett didn’t let the Thunderbirds go down without putting up a fight. The forward blocked a Jones layup and scored inside after. Guard Harrison Butler scored a 3-pointer later, and a Marin steal led to a fast break dunk from guard Tevian Jones. Another Fausett layup made it a single-digit game again.

A second Tevian Jones dunk threatened the Wildcats’ lead. For three minutes, Weber State only led by single digits. With three minutes to go, McEwen threw a pass to Sisoho Jawara for another 3-pointer. The Wildcats ended the night by blowing kisses at the student section and winning 92–84.

Seikou Sisoho Jawara (#5) thinks over his next move under the watchful eyes of the Southern Utah University defense. (Weber State University)
Seikou Sisoho Jawara (#5) thinks over his next move under the watchful eyes of the Southern Utah University defense. (Weber State University)

Sisoho Jawara finished the night with 25 points and McEwen with 21 points. Bassett and Jones combined for 35 points and 14 rebounds.

On Jan. 25, Weber State’s men’s basketball account (@WeberStateMBB) announced that forward Cody Carlson will leave the team to pursue a professional basketball career. The senior, who averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds per game, retweeted the page’s post.

The Wildcats will travel to face their main contender for the No. 1 seed in the Big Sky, the Northern Colorado Bears, on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m.