A scuffle with the Saints

Weber State guard Steven Verplancken shoots over a double team. The Wildcats scored 30 points in the paint against Saint Martin’s.

Weber State University’s men’s basketball team beat Saint Martin’s University 82–58 on Dec. 10 at the Dee Events Center.

Weber State’s head coach Eric Duft said the Saints are a Division II team that are as good as some Division I programs.

The Wildcats came with energy out of the gate despite the rough start to the season. Guard Steven Verplancken Jr. started the game off by hitting a 3-pointer for Weber State. Guard Kyle Greely responded by driving down and hitting a 3-pointer for the Saints to tie the game.

The Wildcats then went on an 8–0 run led by Verplancken, who hit two more 3-pointers. Early in the first half, Weber State was up 11–3.

Keeping their foot on the gas, the Wildcats went on a 9–0 run, hitting three more 3-pointers from downtown and going up 20–5.

Later in the half, Saint Martin’s fought back and cut the Wildcats’ lead down to 7 points. Weber State was later able to stop the run and ended the half up by 14 points.

In the first half, Weber State hit nine 3-pointers, shooting 52% from beyond the arc.

Fighting their way back into the game, Saint Martin’s hit two 3-pointers and cut the Wildcats’ lead down to 8 points. Weber State responded with mini runs to keep a double-digit lead.

Weber State then went on a 13–2 run and went up by 27 points, their largest lead of the night.

The Wildcats ended the game 28-points ahead, making this game their largest win margin of the season.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game. I thought our guys came out and got off to a good start, which I thought was really important,” Duft said. “We moved the ball, and Steven was the recipient of some good passing. He knocked down some shots, and that kind of got us on the right foot.”

Verplancken had a game high of 21 points with five 3-pointers for the night. Weber State guard Junior Ballard added 15 points and three 3-pointers to the total.

The Wildcats ended the game with a total of 12 3-pointers. Weber State also had 20 points off turnovers, 25 bench points and 30 points in the paint.

The Wildcats face the Cal Poly Mustangs in their next game on Dec. 16 at Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo, California.