Men's basketball closes out season with 11th-straight win

(Photo by: Tyler Brown)
(Photo by: Tyler Brown)
On Senior Night, Weber State University’s Scott Bamforth went out with a bang, giving the Wildcat fans something to cheer about in his final home game, which was against Eastern Washington University.

With less than a minute to go and the WSU lead at three, Bamforth hit a clutch three to seal the win for the Wildcats. Bamforth finished the game with 10 points in the final few minutes of the game, including two threes to help WSU keep the lead. WSU held on for a 65-57 win.

Along with Bamforth, Frank Otis was honored before the game as the team’s other senior this season. Head coach Randy Rahe said he was happy the team was able to get a win for the team’s seniors.

“That’s really what you hope on a Senior Night, that obviously you win the game first, but you hope your two seniors play well so they can go out feeling good about themselves. We don’t win that game without either one of them.”

Bamforth finished with a game-high 18 points from 7-10 shooting, including 3-6 shooting from 3-point range. Bamforth passed Rico Washington to move into 12th place on the WSU career scoring list. He is also 19 3-pointers away from becoming the school’s all-time leader.

“I just felt like I needed to — not really take it upon myself, but just try to make plays for us,” Bamforth said “I felt like we were just kind of dead a little bit and I just wanted to do that. Whether it was me scoring or me passing, I just wanted to be aggressive.”

WSU, in throwback uniforms to celebrate 50 years of Division I basketball, jumped out to an early lead over the Eagles, going up 5-2 within the first three minutes of the game.

The Wildcats got the first highlight of the night five minutes into the game. Bamforth brought the ball downcourt in transition, passed it to Jordan Richardson, who made his defender fall over with a crossover, then found Kyle Tresnak, cutting to the hoop for the dunk.

The Wildcats shot well from beyond the arc early in the first half and played well in transition off of Eagle turnovers. Bamforth and Gelaun Wheelwright both came up with threes off EWU turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the half.

Midway through the first half, WSU had an 11-point lead and looked to be in control of the game. The Eagles refused to go away, though, and kept the lead at less than 10 points for much of the half. With seven minutes until the break, the Eagles pulled within six points. Three minutes later, they cut WSU’s lead to two points. Tresnak answered for WSU with a layup to push the lead to four. WSU built its lead up again, but just before halftime, EWU pulled back within five points.

EWU kept the score close, but wasn’t able to really scare the Wildcats during the first seven minutes of the second half. Then EWU started to come back, getting the score within two points with 12 minutes left in the game. The Wildcats pushed the lead back to a comfortable margin, but once again, EWU fought back. With just more than six minutes remaining, WSU held a three-point lead, thanks to a Tyler Harvey three from the corner. Harvey hit his fourth three of the night to pull the Eagles within three points again after WSU pulled the lead back to six.

Now WSU will head to Montana for the conference tournament. The Wildcats will take on Northern Arizona University on Thursday in their opening game of the tournament.