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Session leads Weber State by Portland State 86-83

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(AP file photo)OGDEN -- The Weber State Wildcats (12-7, 6-1 Big Sky) have shown a knack for playing, and winning games that go down to the wire as evident by their 86-83 victory over Portland State (8-11, 3-4 Big Sky) Friday night inside the Dee Events Center.

Franklin Session continues to impress with a career-high and game-high 24 points on 9-11 shooting along with six assists and two steals.

"I think Frank played an all-around good basketball game," said Head Coach Randy Rahe. "When Franklin plays to his strengths like he did tonight, he was driving that ball, he was aggressive in transitions, he chases rebounds, when he plays to his strengths and then eventually he gets a wide open look from three, he'll make it."

The Wildcats were fueled by an explosive 3-point offense making 7-13 from outside the 3-point line, but in the end had to rely on some clutch free throws to seal the win. Weber State made 8 of 10 free throws in the final 55 seconds.

The Wildcats had a 10-point lead at halftime, led by as many as 13 in the second half and had a comfortable 11-point lead with two minutes left in the game, but the Vikings went on a torrid run to get within one with 15 seconds left.

Lindsey Hughey would nail two big free throw to give Weber State a three point lead and with time winding down, Portland State would miss two game-tying 3-pointers before time expired, giving the game to Weber State.

The Wildcat bench came up big with 27 points led by Hughey's 13, but Coach Rahe said several other guys stepped up.

"We had good production off of our bench, I was real excited about Lindsey (Hughey), Trevor (Morris), Darin (Mahoney), and even Josh (Noble) gave us a spark in the first half," said Rahe. "When we get that bench scoring it helps, it's easier to just win games. We don't have to rely on one or two guys, we're just that much harder to guard, but we did have good balance and that's when we're our best so hopefully that continues."

Starters Damian Lillard (15 points, seven assists and five rebounds) and Steve Panos (10 points and six rebounds) had solid games.

Session thinks his performance will finally silence the critics about his shooting skills.

"I hate when people pride on the fact when they say I can't shoot, but I showed it tonight," said Sessions. "I'm pretty sure I can shoot it when I'm needed to shoot the ball."

Portland State was led by Dominic Waters with 21 points and six assists. Julius Thomas and Phil Nelson both had 15. Jamie Jones had 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Weber State will now turn around and play Eastern Washington Saturday night.

The Eagles lost to Idaho State Friday night, 80-74, but despite the loss Rahe knows the challenge Eastern Washington present.

"We got a good Eastern Washington team coming in here. This team is really good offensively. They are the best 3-point shooting team in our league they got some match up issues that we are going to have deal with tomorrow. "

Hughey agrees.

"They're a pretty good team. We got to be on it. They can come in here and beat us if we aren't on it. If we don't have the edge to play they can beat us."

How does Weber State feel about playing back to back nights?

"We get to play," said Rahe. "I told the kids we don't have to play back to back; we get to play back to back. We're excited about it, let's go play."

"I'm ready, it's better than practice," said Session.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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