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Weber State beats Navajo Tech 107–45

Dyson Koehler attempting to get the rebound.

Weber State University’s men’s basketball team hosted Navajo Technical University at the Dee Events Center on Nov. 28 after competing in the Atlantic Slam, a three-game weekend in Moncton, New Brunswick. After winning one and losing two in the Atlantic Slam, the Wildcats bounced back with a 107–45 win over Navajo Tech.

“These last few days since we’ve got back, we’ve been focussing on ourselves, we got some things we’ve been working on offensively,” head coach Eric Duft said. “We knew this would be a good game for us and have a chance to give everyone minutes and then we can take the practice to focus on us. I think we’ve made some strides in practice and we’ve been getting better at things lately.”

Throughout the game, the Wildcats led all 40 minutes and shot 51% from the field, compared to 28% from the Skyhawks. The ‘Cats had a total of 15 3-pointers and out-rebounded the Skyhawks 54–31. Weber State had a total of 13 turnovers and forced 20 turnovers from Navajo Tech.

The 62-point margin of victory is the ninth-highest in program history, and the Wildcats shot 15 of 34 from the 3-point line, constituting the ninth-most triples in a game.

Steven Verplancken led the Wildcats in scoring with a season-high 19 points. Verplancken was 6 of 9 from the field and tied his career-high with five 3-pointers against Navajo Tech.

Weber State freshman forward Marko Sarenac totaled 14 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes and freshman shooting guard Viljami Vartiainen added 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. Sophomore forward Louie Jordan knocked down three 3-pointers on his way to nine points, and sophomore center Handje Tamba added five points and nine rebounds.

Blaise Threatt, a junior guard, started in place of Dillon Jones who sat out with a foot injury, hit the glass early on the way to 10 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and four steals in 19 minutes and 31 seconds on the court. Threatt finished the game with a double-double for the Wildcats, Threatt was three assists away from a triple-double.

“The main thing we got out of this game was being able to see different groups of people together on the floor and … get better with each other, so it’s a good team effort,” Threatt said. “I took it upon myself to really try to get on the glass and be aggressive for the team.”

KJ Cunningham also had season-high in points as he finished the game with 14 points with 12 from beyond the 3-point line.

After a week off to have time to rest, the Wildcats will suit back up as they travel to Orem to face off against Utah Valley University on Dec 5. The Wildcats will be at the Dee Events Center later that week to host California Polytechnic State University on Dec 9.

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Collyn Cowles, Sports editor
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