Wildcats Pull Out Crucial Victory in Portland

Wildcats Pull Out Crucial Victory in Portland

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PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Weber State men's basketball team bounced back from Wednesday night's loss to Eastern Washington, as the Wildcats pulled out a 64-62 win over Portland State on Thursday night at the Stott Center.

The Wildcats (17-10 overall; 10-4 Big Sky) used a 17-4 scoring run that opened the second half to turn a 35-28 deficit into a 45-39 lead with 12:14 remaining. From there the Wildcats hung on, preventing a late Viking rally to earn the win.

One night after the 'Cats shot a dismal 15-of-32 from the free throw line (47 percent) and getting out-rebounded 41-19 in a 89-74 loss to Eastern Washington, the team corrected its errors. On Thursday night, the Wildcats hit 17-of-20 shots from the line (85 percent) and beat the Vikings to the glass for a 35-34 rebounding margin.

Offensively, the Wildcats shared the ball around as five players scored between nine and 11 points. Dave Patten and Arturas Valeika led the squad with 11 each, while Dezmon Harris, Daviin Davis and Tyler Billings each posted nine.

Patten and Valeika also led the Wildcat efforts on the boards, hauling in seven and six rebounds, respectively. Juan Pablo Silveira, who scored a team-high 25 points one night earlier in Cheney, Wash. scored only six points against the Vikings, but led the squad with five assists.

Portland State (15-11; 6-7) was led by Juma Kumara and Dupree Lucas, who scored 18 and 12 points, respectively. Scott Morrison and Paul Hafford each chipped in with nine points for PSU, while Morrison added a game-high four blocked shots.

The Wildcat defense was a key to the victory as WSU held the Vikings to only 38 percent shooting for the game (35 percent in the second half).

The Wildcats, who continue to lead the Big Sky Conference standings, will return home for their next game as they play host to second-place Montana on Feb. 14 at the Dee Events Center. Tip-off for the game is at 7:05 p.m.

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