The Weber State Wildcats used something old and something new to defeat the University of Portland 86-69 Saturday night.
The "old" was senior Al Hamilton, who blistered the nets early and often for 26 points. The "new" was junior Elroy Miller, who started for the first time this season and scored a career-high 23 points to help Weber finish the preseason at 9-3.Coach Ron Abegglen opted to start Miller at the point to give Weber a little bit of spark after Tuesday's lackluster win over Lewis-Clark State.
"I thought we could use a little more speed, and Elroy's healthy now, so we made the change," Abegglen said.
The Pilots, who fell to 5-6 on the year and lost for the 12th straight time on the road going back to last season, kept the game interesting for awhile before Hsmilton scored five points and Miller hit the first of his three three-pointers to stretch Weber's lead to 26-12. The Wildcats maintained at least a 10-point lead much of the rest of the half, taking a 35-23 advantage into the locker room.
Weber took its biggest lead at 56-36 with 11 minutes remaining after Miller sank two free throws. In fact, he sank all 10 shots he took from the line in the game. Meanwhile, the Pilots were plagued by foul trouble from the beginning, with starters Jerry Allen and Grant Tracy doing plenty of pinetime in this one.
Portland's only bright spot was the play of junior Matt Houle, who scored a game-high 28 points.
Weber now prepares to open the Big Sky season by hosting Idaho State Thursday night at 7:30. Boise State visits Ogden next Saturday night.