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Cravens acts ‘like a fool,’ and Wildcats get a victory

SHARE Cravens acts ‘like a fool,’ and Wildcats get a victory

OGDEN — Weber State coach Joe Cravens got a little animated in Friday's 89-78 win over Eastern Washington in the Dee Events Center.

In the midst of a four-minute stretch in the second half, Cravens grew frustrated as the Wildcats let an 18-point lead get whittled down to five.

"I had to call a timeout and act like a fool and almost pass out. I was screaming, yelling, spitting and cussin'," said Cravens, whose tirade included the throwing of his sportcoat and a drinking cup. "It's almost like you've got to collectively slap 'em back to waking up. I don't know many teams in this league that are just going to quit playing."

Cravens felt his team was sleepwalking — and let them know about it after EWU made three straight 3-pointers during the deficit reduction.

"When he called that timeout he was definitely red. He was real red. He was fierce. He looked like he wanted to fight us for a minute. I got scared. I ain't going to lie," said a smiling guard Jermaine Boyette, who led all scorers with 22 points. "I got scared. He almost head-butted me. That's the truth. We came out of the timeout and tried to play.

"That's something coach Cravens really doesn't show us much" he added. "But when he shows that, he means a lot of business."

The message got through. In less than six minutes, Weber State avoided additional trouble by going on a 21-5 run to garner a game-high 70-49 advantage. And though EWU eventually clawed back to within seven, the Wildcats responded quickly and decisively to maintain their composure down the stretch. Stephan Bachmann finished with 19 points, while Chris Woods added 16 and John Hamilton contributed 12. Pat Danley also had a solid performance for Weber State. He scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

All were need against the pesky Eagles.

"We made good runs, but you can only get hit in the face so many times first," said EWU coach Ray Giacoletti. "We've got to be the ones who go out first with the energy and be the aggressor. It seemed like Weber was the aggressor tonight."

The Eagles wound up getting just 17 points from their starters. Alvin Snow topped the reserve unit with a team-high 20 points. His effort paced EWU to 68.2 percent shooting from the field in the second half — a figure that didn't please Cravens.

"One of these days we'll put it together for 40 minutes," he said. "It's the difference between being a real good team and an average team."

Weber State led 38-26 at halftime as Boyette and Bachmann combined for 17 points. The Wildcats, who outrebounded the Eagles 21-12 in the first half, overcame a somewhat shaky start to build their advantage.

Trailing 12-10 after seven minutes of play, Weber State used a variety of contributions to pull ahead. Six Wildcats scored in a 12-2 run that turned things around. Stevie Morrison opened the outburst by evening the score before Woods broke the standstill with a tip in less than a minute later.

Boyette, Danley, Hamilton and Bachmann followed with points to cap the six-minute momentum swing.

GAME NOTES: Weber State (13-7, 4-3) returns to action tonight at 7 against Portland State (7-10, 1-3). It'll be the Wildcats' final home game until March 2 since their home is being used as a media center for the nearby Olympic curling venue . . . The 'Cats increased their lead in the all-time series with EWU to 25-11.


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com