WSU knocks off Oral Roberts in Bracketbusters

The Weber State University men’s basketball team secured its 20th win of the season on Saturday in the Ramada Bracketbusters game against Oral Roberts University.

The Wildcats took a 70-66 victory on the road in Tulsa, Okla. This is the fifth time in seven years WSU has reached 20 wins.

Head coach Randy Rahe said after the game that he feels lucky to have such a good team.

“I’ve been blessed,” Rahe said. “I’ve got good assistant coaches and good players. God bless them, because I need a lot of help.”

For much of the first half, the score was tight, with only a few points separating the two teams. Throughout the first half, the teams traded the lead multiple times, with neither team being able to take a commanding lead.

The Golden Eagles took a 36-29 lead into halftime. WSU committed nine turnovers in the first half, something Rahe said was a main part of his halftime talk.

“We struggled in the first half to hold on to the ball and kind of shot ourselves in the foot with the turnovers. We came out and really shot well in the second half, and I was proud of how they responded on both ends of the court against a really talented team.”

Multiple times throughout the second half, the announcer commented on WSU’s body language, saying the team looked confident. The Wildcats went on a run midway through the second half and briefly took the lead, but ORU took a one-point lead with 12 minutes left in regulation.

The Wildcats retook the lead with eight minutes left off of a Scott Bamforth three. WSU pushed their lead to nine points with 4:32 remaining in the game, going on an 11-0 run. Throughout the game, Bamforth and Jordan Richardson led WSU in shooting. They combined for nine threes and shot 56 percent from beyond the arc.

Bamforth said the Wildcats’ improved play in the second half was the key for them to get the win.

“We weren’t ourselves in the first half,” Bamforth said, “but we knew if we kept it close, we would have a chance in the second half, and that’s what we were able to do.”

Kyle Tresnak led the way with 20 points, the fourth time this season he has finished a game with 20 points. He was 10-18 from the field and pulled down five rebounds. Bamforth added 16 points on 5-7 shooting, including four 3-pointers, and also had four assists.

Frank Otis added 11 points and five rebounds. Davion Berry had seven points and seven assists.

ORU was led by Shawn Glover, a former University of Utah player, who posted 16 points for the Golden Eagles.

The win improved the Wildcats’ all-time record to 2-2 in Bracketbusters games and was their first road win. This is the final season of the Bracketbusters games.

WSU will now return to conference play next week with games at California State University, Sacramento and Northern Arizona University. WSU has four Big Sky games remaining in the regular season.