OGDEN — Weber State coach Randy Rahe started reminiscing Saturday about all the close calls his teams have had against Brigham Young. There was that one overtime loss. Then there was that close loss against the Jimmer-led Cougars. And, of course, the six-point loss just last year.
“It feels like they’ve had our number a little bit,” Rahe said.
Rahe’s teams had gotten close, but never toppled the Cougars. That all changed on Saturday night.
Weber State added to BYU’s early season woes with a 113-103 win over the Cougars Saturday at Dee Events Center. It was the Wildcats’ first win over BYU since 2003, and Rahe’s first win over the Cougars.
BYU (5-4) shot 59.4 percent from the field. Yoeli Childs had 31 points and Jahshire Hardnett added 24. The offensive numbers were there. But the Cougars couldn’t stop the Wildcats (5-2).
BYU never figured out the Weber State duo of Jerrick Harding and Cody John. The two guards drove almost at will into the paint to challenge the Cougars at the rim. And they won most of those challenges. Harding led the Wildcats with 30 points and John added 22. The Wildcats had four other players reach double figures.
“They were better than us in all aspects tonight,” Childs said. “I think it started with an inability to keep the ball in front. They broke us down one on one and were able to get to the rim at will.”
And when Harding wasn’t driving, he was hitting deep shot after deep shot. The senior was 4-for-6 from behind the arc and one of those 3s helped the Wildcats blow the game open in the second half.
Harding hit a corner triple as part of a 10-2 run that pushed Weber State’s lead to 11, 66-55.
After that it was rare the Cougars were within ten points of the Wildcats. Weber State was near unstoppable after the break, scoring 66 points in the second half alone.
“They pretty much owned us tonight,” Childs
Hardnett hit a bucket with 2:00 remaining in the contest to cut the Weber State lead to just eight points. Rylan Bergersen had an open 3-point attempt which would have sliced the deficit to five, but the shot skipped off the rim. That shot was part of a 5-for-14 night from behind the arc for the Cougars. And with Weber nailing 11 triples, those five makes weren't enough to keep up.
Down the stretch, BYU had to hope the Wildcats would miss enough free throws. They didn’t.
BYU has now lost three games in a row, and the losing streak has left the Cougars trying to figure out what has gone wrong.
“That’s the question,” Childs said. “We got to play harder. ... I don’t think we are too far off. I think every guy — especially myself — needs to find a way to give more. We are not broken, but we obviously have a problem right now. You can’t lose three in a row — you just can’t.”
But while BYU left the game looking for answers, the Wildcats soaked in one of the better days in Weber State athletic history. In the afternoon Saturday, the Wildcat football team advanced to the FCS quarterfinals with a 48-23 home victory over Southeast Missouri State.
“What a great day,” Rahe said. “What about our fans. … They didn’t have a lot of a break. I’m sure there are some hungry people out there They skipped dinner to come out here to support us. That was a special day for Weber State athletics, the city of Ogden and Weber State University.”
A day that’ll be worth reminiscing about.