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Weber loses to Montana St.

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OGDEN — Despite quick flashes of improvement, the Weber State basketball team continues to struggle.

A game like Thursday night's 76-67 loss to Montana State (6-8, 1-0) has become a typical site for fans at the Dee Events Center. A slow shooting start, coupled with unforced mistakes and poor foul shooting has become a recipe for disaster and whispers of "we may not win another game this season" have been heard in the dark corners of the Purple Palace.

The loss makes five in a row for the Wildcats (4-9, 0-2), and gives the Bobcats their first conference win and sixth all-time win in Ogden.

"With 8-9 minutes to go, we just made too many fundamental mistakes in passing and catching," said WSU coach Joe Cravens. "We missed lay ups and open shots and they hit shots when they had to hit them. We need to keep paying the preacher."

After trailing 31-24 at the half, the Wildcats found a spark in forward Troy Goodell, who nailed three 3-pointers during a WSU 14-5 run that tied the game. Moments, later, the Wildcats took the lead and held it until the 7:21 mark when the Bobcats recaptured their fire.

MSU's Branden Miller, who scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, was instrumental in a 10-2 run the permanently put the Bobcats back on top. The Wildcats made several attempts to regain the lead, but Montana State always responded with a basket. Bobcats' Marvin Moss also had 18 and Ja'Ron Jefferson added 15 in the victory.

Goodell was the top scorer for the Wildcats with 18. He was joined in double figures by Lance Allred's 17 points and 15 rebounds. Guard Brett Cox added 11. The Wildcats only hit 7-of-23 free throws and shot 27 percent in the first half.

Despite the losing woes, Cravens is trying to stay positive.

"We're improving in a lot of areas," Cravens said. "We just have to learn to be tougher and win games down the stretch.

When asked if Saturday's game with Montana was a must-win situation, Cravens said it was not.

"I don't see any game as a must-win," Cravens said. "We just got to come again tomorrow and try to get the next one. I wouldn't put that kind of pressure on anybody. There is no magic wand, we just have to continue to work."

Saturday's game with Montana will tip off at 5 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.