Weber State grinds out a low-scoring 52-49 win over Sacramento State

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OGDEN — It didn't matter whether the teams played in Ogden or Sacramento this season. Offense came at a premium in both matchups between Weber State and Sacramento State.

The Wildcats scratched and clawed their way through a poor shooting night to come out on top in a 52-49 victory over the Hornets. It was the lowest points scored in a Weber State win since ... a 50-48 win over Sacramento State in Ogden not more than a month ago.

While Eric Duft's team didn't require a last-second layup from star Dillon Jones to pull Thursday night's out, both games ended the same, with Sacramento State guard Zach Chappell missing a game-changing shot at the buzzer.

Although Weber State held the lead for a majority of the game, it never made it into double-digits; the highest lead for the visitors was 8 points near the end of the first half. The two teams were tied longer than Sacramento State ever led, yet the home team Hornets were a missed transition 3-pointer away from sending the game into overtime.

The night started out slow for the offenses and never picked up. About midway through the first half, the teams were tied 13-13, and the Hornets had made two 3-pointers to the Wildcats' one.

Weber State finished the night with just two made 3-pointers, its lowest amount in a game all season. It was also the third lowest 3-point percentage the Wildcats have had in a game all season, and the lowest percentage in a victory.

Near the end of the first half both teams cooled off considerably, which was all the more noticeable seeing as how they hadn't been hot to begin with. The two teams went through scoring droughts of nearly four minutes, and the last points scored in the half came on a jumper in the paint from Sacramento State's Cameron Wilbon with 3:38 to play.

Weber State led at halftime 26-20.

While halftime may have provided a chance for each team to reset, the start of the second half didn't look much better than the first. The highlight of the first few minutes came when Jones drove into the lane and dished to center Alex Tew, who cut baseline for a big dunk.

Despite the offensive struggles, Jones finished with yet another double-double, his sixteenth in 26 games played this season. The sophomore forward finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 5-of-13 from the field. Guard Steven Verplancken contributed 12 points, including one of the two Weber State 3-pointers, while Tew finished with 11 points and four rebounds.

The Hornets still managed to keep the game close and last led with just under three and a half minutes of game time. But as big time players often do, the Wildcats' Jones took matters into his own hands and scored the team's next 4 points, thanks to a couple aggressive drives to the basket and some key rebounds.

The visitors led 46-43 with 1:40 left to play, and from there three different Wildcats knocked down clutch free throws to help secure the win after Sacramento State's last-second heave missed the mark.

Weber State has four games left to play in the regular season, and it doesn't get much easier. The Wildcats continue their road trip against Portland State on Saturday.


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