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(AP file photo)OGDEN -- Steve Panos had game-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Weber State Wildcats (14-7, 8-1 Big Sky) to an easy victory over the Hornets of Sacramento State (7-15, 1-8 Big Sky), 81-59 Friday night at the Dee Events Center.
It took some time for the Wildcats to find their rhythm in the first half finding themselves down several times, but once they did a 17-4 run followed and Weber State went into the half up eight.
In the second half the Wildcats pulled away- starting with a 9-0 run to begin the second half- and shooting at a 58 percent clip.
‘We talked about it at halftime here, you can either put your foot down and try and put them away or you can relax and let them in the game and it will be a hell of a game," said Head Coach Randy Rahe.
Weber State's bench is proving to be quite a valuable weapon for the Wildcats getting 27 points in the game. Lindsey Hughey led the bench effort with 14 points and three assists.
"He played amazing. I can't say enough about the guy. He came in stepped up, made huge shots, took it to the hole, and finished really well," said Panos about Hughey.
"He's been playing like that; he's been playing really, really well the last few games. He hat got a lot of confidence he's playing aggressive."
Damian Lillard scored 15 points and Franklin Session had 11 points, three rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Sacramento State struggled to score, shooting just 34 percent for the game. The Hornets rotated through 10 players looking for a spark, but no one scored more than Justin Eller, who finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Duro Bjegovic scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds.
"(My players) are competitive now. They are a very, very competitive group," said Head Coach Randy Rahe. "You get a team down, especially at home you get a little more effort, a little more aggressive. You got to try to put them away."
Weber State, which has won five straight and 7 of 8, hopes to ride its success on a road swing through Montana to face Montana State (11-9, 6-3 Big Sky) and Montana (14-7, 5-4 Big Sky). The Wildcats beat both teams earlier this season in Ogden.
‘We're not really doing anything different, we're just playing ball," said Panos. "We aren't thinking about it too much. At the start of the season it was in our heads that we were starting off slow and right now we are just playing ball and sharing the ball and playing team ball."