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Weber wins, takes over first place in Big Sky

Not only did Weber State manage to move into the top spot in the Big Sky standings, they did it with a 73-59 drubbing of former league leader Montana State.

The Wildcats took a lead early and stretched it during virtually the entire game without ever letting the Bobcats back in the contest.They did it by shutting down a powerful scoring machine that leads the league in several offensive categories, including total points and field-goal percentage.

Weber, however, broke the machine, temporarily holding down a team that averages 86 points to 30 percent shooting.

"Our guys responded by getting to where we wanted to be on defense," Weber coach Ron Abegglen said.

"If you try to shoot with them they will beat your ears back. I feel it was our best defensive game of the year."

Only one of the Bobcats' starting five - Jamie Hooper, with 11 points - managed to score in double figures. Both the inside and outside offense was shut down in the Wildcats' defensive showcase.

The Bobcats shot only 16 percent from the three-point line, while Weber went 6-12 from trey land.

After back-to-back games scoring more than 30 points, Nate Holmstadt was largely ineffective, totalingnine points - and only two at the half - after averaging more than 22 for the last six games.

Weber buit its halftime advantage by controlling the boards and getting strong offensive performances at key moments.

The Wildcats had nine offensive boards in the half which included several putback scores compared to only eight total rebounds for the Bobcats and held a 23-8 advantage overall. Montanta State almost evened things out in the second half, but sill lost the battle of the boards 40-37.

In the first-half Marc Lawson - of Tooele High and Salt Lake Community College - came off the bench to score eight points in about six minutes of play to push Weber's lead to 12. In his second-half appearance Lawson scored two points converting free throws on a technical foul after he fouled a Bobcat. It was the walk-on's second consecutive double figures scoring performance off the bench.