SALT LAKE CITY — Derrick Alston had 23 points and five rebounds to help Boise State pull away from Weber State, 70-59, Sunday afternoon at ExtraMile Arena in Boise in the Wildcats' first Division I contest of the year.
Abu Kigab added 15 points and four rebounds for Boise State, which got 7 points, eight rebounds and six assists from former Wasatch Academy standout Emmanuel Akot — the hero of the Broncos' 74-70 win at BYU last Wednesday.
Isiah Brown scored 18 points and Michal Kozak added 7 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats (2-1), who were playing the former conference mate Broncos for the first time since 2005. Weber State fell to 42-29 all-time against Boise State, which played in the Big Sky from 1970-96.
Cody Carlson had 9 of his 17 points and three of four rebounds in the first half to help Weber State pull within nine, 35-26, at the break.
"Boise State is a really good basketball team so this was a good test for our team," Weber State coach Randy Rahe said in a news release. "We needed to play a game like this against a high-quality opponent and I thought we did a lot of good things and had great effort. We got some good looks but just couldn't finish them. This is still a learning experience, we just need more games to get more comfortable."
The Wildcats pulled within a point at 40-39 with a 7-0 run capped by Carlson's 3-pointer with 14:13 left in the game. But the Broncos responded with a 13-3 run of their own, including a rim-rattling dunk by Alston that put the game back in the home team's control.
The game marked the Wildcats' first Division I opponent of the year, after contests with in-state rivals Dixie State and Utah State were both canceled due to positive cases of COVID-19. Within hours of the Aggies' cancellation, Rahe had reached out to Boise and the game was scheduled on three days' notice.
Following Sunday's game, Weber State will be on the road for four-straight contests, including Friday's Big Sky opening weekend at Portland State. The Wildcats will also face BYU in Salt Lake City on Dec. 23, and travel to Idaho State on Dec. 31 before returning to the Dee Events Center for four-straight home games.