Wednesday , December 06, 2017 - 5:49 PM
Weber State's Ricky Nelson (2) goes up for a layup past Utah Valley University's Isaac Neilson (22) and Ben Nakwaasah (10) during the second half of play Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, at Utah Valley University in Orem.
Weber State shot a poor 38 percent (and only 30 percent from deep), unable to keep up with Utah Valley’s hot shooting of 56 percent and giving up 10 offensive boards to the Wolverines.
“They outplayed us in every facet of the game tonight,” WSU head coach Randy Rahe said. “They played faster than us. They played more aggressive than us. We missed some open shots and I thought it got to us a little bit. I thought it snowballed on us ... We did not guard at all like we need to guard.”
UVU senior center Akolda Manyang personified the Wildcats’ problems with a game-high 25 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks.
“He disrupts the whole game,” Rahe said of Manyang. “He protected the rim and scored the ball very well. He’s hard to deal with. We don’t see guys like him. I thought it affected our guys. He’s a huge weapon and I thought he made a big difference in every area of the basketball game.”
Weber State did tie the game late in the first half, but the Wolverines never trailed.
Junior forward Brekkott Chapman adding 15 points on an efficient 7-of-10 shooting night, adding six rebounds, six assists and six blocks. Sophomore guard Jerrick Harding led Weber State’s scorers with 16 points.
“We just weren’t tough on either end of the floor,” Harding said. “We have to get better. We have to figure out what we need to change to get better for the next game.”
Senior Dusty Baker was the only other Wildcat to score in double figures, adding 14 points. He had the best shooting night, going 5 of 7 overall and 4 of 6 from downtown.
WEBER STATE FOOTBALL
The Wildcats missed six of their first seven shots and found themselves trailing 14-2 early in the game.
Baker stopped the dry spell with five straight points for WSU, setting up an 11-0 run that tied the game up at 18.
Later, Weber State tied the game at 27 with 6:33 left in the half, but it got out of hand quickly. Manyang led UVU in dominating the paint on both ends of the floor, fueling a 16-2 run to take a 43-29 lead at the break.
Manyang recorded three of his six first-half blocks in the last 2:30 of the half.
Trading baskets for most of the second half kept the deficit insurmountable. The Wildcats cut the lead to 16, but did not score in the final 6:24 to lose 83-56, the largest deficit of the night.
“We’ve got to figure it out,” Rahe added. “There’s two things you can do when you hit some adversity. You can come together and fight harder and become determined, or you can go the other way and feel bad for yourself.
“We’re going to accept that we got our butts kicked and we’re going to figure out a way to fight harder.”
Weber State moves on to face BYU in the Beehive Classic at 8 p.m. Saturday inside Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.