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Wildcat Dillon Jones secures wins in Big Sky Summit League Challenge

Weber State Men’s Basketball Forward, Dillon Jones, making the winning shot against South Dakota State University.

In the Jan. 3 showdown between Weber State University and South Dakota State University’s men’s basketball, Weber State’s star player, Dillon Jones, solidified his position as the go-to clutch player by sinking a jumper with less than a second remaining. The remarkable play secured a 75–73 victory, winning the first game of the Big Sky-Summit League Challenge.

Jones’ standout performance included 23 points, tying his career-high with nine assists, and contributing six rebounds. Jones showcased his shooting prowess with a remarkable 9-of-12 accuracy from the field, including an impressive 4-of-5 from the 3-point line.

The Wildcats faced a formidable opponent in South Dakota State, falling behind early in the game. However, a 12–0 run propelled Weber State to a 35–28 lead, culminating in a 40–35 advantage at halftime.

The second half witnessed a dominant 11–2 run by Weber State, securing a 71–58 lead with 5:52 remaining. South Dakota State mounted a fierce comeback, orchestrating a 15–2 run to tie the game with 29 seconds left. Jones delivered the game-winning shot, leaving the Dee Events Center erupting in cheers.

The Wildcats demonstrated their offensive prowess by shooting 47% from the field, outshining the Jackrabbits’ 51%. The Wildcats shot a remarkable 13 3-pointers, the most against a Division I opponent this season.

Weber State’s Blaise Threatt added 17 points, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range, while Dyson Koehler contributed 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Alex Tew rounded off the Wildcats’ stellar performance with 7 points, three blocked shots, and a career-high 10 rebounds.

The Wildcats embarked on the next challenge awaiting them at Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as part of the Big Sky-Summit League Challenge.

Weber State continued its triumphant run, securing its sixth-straight win after a thrilling encounter against Oral Roberts at the Mabee Center on Jan. 6. Not only did the Wildcats secure a remarkable 83–78 victory, but they also snapped Oral Roberts’ 21-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation.

A pivotal part of the Big Sky-Summit League Challenge was marked by Weber State’s impressive 56% shooting accuracy from the field. The Wildcats displayed their 3-point prowess by sinking six shots, while also out-rebounding Oral Roberts 33–25. An impressive 19-of-23 performance from the free-throw line added to Weber State’s stellar statistics.

Jones, in another standout performance, recorded his 10th double-double of the season, finishing with 26 points and 10 rebounds. The second half belonged to Jones, who scored 22 points and showcased his playmaking skills with six assists.

Koehler added 17 points, including four 3-pointers, while Threatt contributed 13 points and three assists. Tew played a crucial role with 10 first-half points on 5-of-7 shooting.

The Golden Eagles initially surged ahead, establishing a 9-point lead midway through the first half. However, the Wildcats rallied back, tying the game at 38–38 by halftime. A resilient effort in the second half saw the Wildcats build an 8-point lead with 2:22 to play, eventually securing an 83–78 victory.

Despite Oral Roberts making three 3-pointers in the final minute, Weber State’s composure at the free-throw line sealed the win. The Wildcats converted 7-of-8 free throws in the final 41 seconds, ensuring a triumphant end to the challenging matchup.

The Wildcats, with an 11–4 overall record, now shift their focus back to Big Sky play, facing two road games against Sacramento State and Portland State next week. Their next home game is against Eastern Washington on Jan. 18.

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Collyn Cowles, Sports editor
Sara Staker, Photographer

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