The two teams came into the game were ranked right next to each other in the latest RPI and the game proved to be close all night.
Oral Roberts held a 36-29 lead at halftime and the Wildcats had nine turnovers in the first half and allowed the Golden Eagles to shoot 56 percent from the field.
The ‘Cats responded in the second half and shot 68 percent from the field, including knocking seven three-pointers in the half. With ORU leading 42-37 with 16:35 to play, Weber State went on an 11-0 run over the next four and a half minutes. Jordan Richardson had back-to-back three-pointers to give WSU a 48-42 lead with 12:19 to play.
The Golden Eagles responded with a 7-0 run of their own and held a 51-48 lead with 9:51 to play. That’s when the Wildcats had a 13-4 run and took a 61-55 lead with 5:45 to play. The ‘Cats were able to knock down their free throws down the stretch and hold on for the win.
“We didn’t look good in the first half but we really fought hard in the second half and came back looking like ourselves,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “We struggled in the first half to hold on to the ball and kind of shot ourselves in the foot with the turnovers. We came out and really shot well in the second half and I was proud of how they responded on both ends of the court against a really talented team.”
For the game the Wildcats shot 54 percent from the field and continue to lead the nation in field goal percentage. WSU also outrebounded Oral Roberts 26-23 and improved to 19-0 when outrebounding the opponent. Weber State was 9-17 from three-point land and was 9-11 from the free throw line. The Wildcats also had 17 assists on the night.
Junior Kyle Tresnak led the way with 20 points, the fourth time this season he has reached 20 points in a game. He was 10-18 from the field and pulled down five rebounds. Senior Scott Bamforth added 16 points on 5-7 shooting, including four three-pointers and also had four assists.
“We weren’t ourselves in the first half but we knew if we kept it close we would have a chance in the second half and that’s what we were able to do,” Bamforth said.
Richardson also knocked down four three-pointers and finished with 12 points and Frank Otis added 11 points and five rebounds. Davion Berry had seven points and seven assists.
Oral Roberts was led by Shawn Glover, a former University of Utah player, who posted 16 points for the Golden Eagles.
The win improved the Wildcats’ all-time record to 2-2 in Bracketbusters games and was their first road win, in the final season of the Bracketbusters.
Weber State will now return to conference play next week with games at Sacramento State and Northern Arizona. WSU has just four Big Sky games remaining in the regular season.