Weber State tops Eagles
OGDEN, Utah – Scott Bamforth scored 18 points and Weber State closed the game on a 14-7 run to defeat Eastern Washington 65-57 in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball regular-season finale on Saturday night.
EWU had been eliminated from participating in the conference tournament earlier in the day.
Weber State’s Wildcats (24-5, 18-2) will take their 11-game winning streak and a No. 2 seed into next week’s conference tournament, where they will face seventh-seeded Northern Arizona in Missoula on Thursday.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Harvey scored 17 points to lead Eastern Washington (10-21, 7-13). He also had eight rebounds.
Joel Bolomboy added 11 points for Weber State, which has won 19 straight games at home.
With the Wildcats nursing a 51-50 lead, Bamforth hit a 3-pointer and a jumper to make it 56-50 with 4:35 left. The Eagles got within 60-57 on sophomore Parker Kelly’s layup with 1:24 remaining but another 3 by Bamforth at the 57-second mark was all the cushion Weber State needed.
“Credit Weber State’s defense,” said EWU coach Jim Hayford. “We did everything we could to try to manufacture baskets. I thought we executed a really, really good game plan. To hold the nation’s top shooting team to 40 percent showed how far we’ve grown defensively.”
Freshman Venky Jois had 10 points and nine rebounds for EWU, while Kelly, a sophomore, finished with nine points.
The Eagles lost center Martin Seiferth early in the game with a hip pointer.
For a variety of reasons – mostly because of injuries – Eastern used 14 different starting lineups this season. Six underclassmen each started at least three games with a collective total of 97 starts.
“I felt like we got better every week, and we played one of our best games of the season against Weber State,” said Hayford.