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Defense flags a bit, but Weber's OK

OGDEN — The opponent was overmatched, undersized and outclassed. Weber State getting a win against Montana Tech really wasn't in question. Rather, the Wildcats wanted to see improvement in the little things. The little things like offensive rebounds, assist-to-turnover ratio and defensive field goal percentage.

"Our goal was to make them shoot 40 percent or less," Weber State coach Joe Cravens said after the 82-51 whitewashing of the Orediggers. "So I'm not too happy about that."

Aside from that minor problem — Montana Tech shot 45.8 percent — Cravens had a hard time finding anything to complain about as the Wildcats improved to 3-0 heading into Saturdays game against Utah.

The Wildcats had five players score in double figures and all 10 players stepping onto the floor scored. WSU outrebounded the 'Diggers 40-23, had a 14-7 assist-to-turnover ratio and had 19 offensive rebounds in the win.

Terrell Stovall led all scorers with 13 points as Coric Riggs, Clint Burris, Dan Henry and Brett Cox each cracked double digits. No Wildcat played more than 25 minutes as Cravens took full advantage of his bench.

"I just wanted to come out and get a little bit better tonight," Cravens said. "And we did that. Now we just have to take that and start getting ready for Utah."

The Wildcats actually had a game on their hands for the first 10 minutes or so of the contest. Montana Tech came out firing from long range hoping to hit enough 3-pointers to hang with WSU. In fact, the NAIA Orediggers held a 15-12 lead six minutes into the game behind the hot shooting.

That didn't last long, though, as the Orediggers lost their accuracy and Weber State asserted itself on the low post.

A 27-6 rally was all the Wildcats needed in the first half to remind their visitors just what the game was supposed to be — a win for the home squad and a pat on the back for the tuneup opponents as they boarded the bus back to Montana.

That eye-opener to start the game, though, was a matter of concern for several Weber State players.

"You've got to be up for every game," point guard Nick Covington said. "If you're not threatened at any time, it's hard to stay focused and not relax. But as long as you get the win, it's all good."

In this case, there was little that wasn't good.

WSU poured in 52 points in the paint as their big men set up shop on the low blocks and patiently pounded away at the Montana Tech post players. Doing that against Utah, however, will be a more challenging task.

"We just have to do what we do and run our offense the way we can run it," Covington said of the Utes. "That will be a different game, but if we stay focused and work hard, we'll be OK."


E-mail: jeborn@desnews.com