What team? Wildcats!

Guard position Junior Ballard running past Adam’s State player Sterling Benjamin, while dribbling the ball towards the basket.

Weber State University’s men’s basketball team beat Adams State University 88–76 in their exhibition game on Nov. 2 at the Dee Events Center.

The Wildcats entered the game with a relatively new team and a new head coach. Trailing early, their debut game started rough.

“We have eight new players, so it’s going to take us a little time to build some continuity, that synergy together,” head coach Eric Duft said. “It’s a process that’s just going to take time, just going to come through repetition and playing games.”

The Wildcats trailed Adams State until guard KJ Cunningham hit a 3-pointer from the corner, bringing the score to 20–19.

“I felt like we shot the ball pretty well,” Weber State guard Zahir Porter said, “It’s the first game. People are going to get adjusted to playing the bright lights, playing in the stadium, but I feel like, for the first game, we shot it pretty well.”

After a 3-pointer from Adams State guard Kolby Walker tied the game at 35 points, Weber State began to break away. Going on a 4–0 run raising the score up 39–35, the Wildcats ended the first half up 44–37.

Entering the second half, Weber State was able to pull away. The closest Adams State came to the lead was with a layup from forward Sterling Benjamin early in the second to make the score 44–39. With 14 minutes left, the Wildcats were up by 18 points.

Porter said the team is focusing on showing who the Wildcats are as a team and bringing what they execute in practice to the game.

While Weber State did walk away with the win, Duft and teammates acknowledged that this game showed areas where the team needs to grow.

“I feel like we need to work on certain stuff defensively, like more rebounding,” Porter said. “I feel like it’s going to come in every day just playing practice and playing against other people. We just naturally get better at that.”

Taking advantage of free throws is something that was evident in Weber State’s success against Adam’s State. The Wildcats scored 27 points from the line, making 75% of their free throw shots.

“We definitely set the emphasis on that in practice. We practice those every day,” Porter said. “Coach makes us stay after practice and shoot for three minutes straight in silence. Everybody has to focus practice on the free throws, so that’s good.”

Weber State will travel to take on the University of Washington on Nov. 7 at 9 p.m.