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Weber State cruises past Maine Fort Kent, eyes games against Utah State, BYU

Weber State forward JJ Overton (24) drives past defender for a layup on Dec. 11, 2021 in 82-36 win over Maine Fort Kent.

Weber State forward JJ Overton (24) drives past defender for a layup on Dec. 11, 2021 in 82-36 win over Maine Fort Kent. (Robert Casey, Weber State Athletics )

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OGDEN — If you haven't heard of the University of Maine Fort Kent, you likely aren't alone.

UMFK is part of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, an organization that provides opportunities to smaller colleges to compete with leveled competition.

Despite being a small school that not many in Utah have heard of, Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said there was a purpose in scheduling a game against them Saturday.

"We scheduled this game for a reason because we needed a game after the tough schedule that we've had so far, to try to get guys some more playing time and get guys on the floor that hadn't had a chance to play," Rahe said. "It really served its purpose from that standpoint."

All 15 of Weber State's players saw action on the court, and regardless of another cold night from behind the arc, the Wildcats coasted to an 82-36 win over the Bengals Saturday night at the Dee Events Center.

Coming off a 94-60 loss to Washington State, a game against a lower level of competition allowed the Wildcats to regroup, to refocus and clean up some areas of their game before a three-game home stand.

"We just needed to get back and focus on how we play and what we do and what makes us good," junior Zahir Porter said. "That's what we wanted to get back to today, and I felt like we did that."

With a win secured, all focus is now on home games against Utah State and BYU next week. After the two games against in-state opponents, Weber State will remain in Ogden and host Fresno State, which will complete the best three-game home stand in Weber State history since 1987-88 when they hosted DePaul, Colorado and Utah State.

"We've been looking forward to those games since we heard the schedule come out," Porter said. "Those are two great games that we've been looking forward to, so the team is pumped and we're just ready — ready to get on."

"It's a great stretch for us, and we're really excited about it. We're gonna have to play at a high level each one of those games to put ourselves in position to win," Rahe added. "That's what we want; we want to have to play at a high level to win some games."

Washington State posed the greatest challenge to the Wildcats in the preseason and gave a preview of what to expect in the upcoming stretch of games.

In their lone loss of the season, Weber State was faced with a level of ball pressure they had not experienced from other teams and learned the value of consistently needing to rebound so they can do what they do best: get out and push the ball in transition.

Rahe said his team's "nemesis" has been finding ways to consistently rebound. Against high level opponents, rebounding is a must, so that'll be the emphasis in practice leading into Wednesday to prepare for "big boy basketball."

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