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Weber returns home with energy

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Weber State's David Patten throws down one of his seven dunks Wednesday.

Weber State’s David Patten throws down one of his seven dunks Wednesday.

Sarah Ause, Deseret Morning News

OGDEN — After a long weekend in Alaska and a long flight back to Ogden, Weber State coach Randy Rahe was afraid of the mental state his team would bring to Wednesday night's game against Montana Tech.

Rahe had nothing to worry about.

"We didn't have zombies," Rahe said after an easy 81-53 victory over the Orediggers. "I've been in a few of those tournaments where we come back without any life."

There was plenty of life with the Wildcats.

Senior David Patten, especially, had plenty of energy. The 6-foot-8 forward scored a career-high 25 points and threw down seven dunks by himself — one after a steal and wrap-around-the-back move on the fast break to avoid a defender.

He made 11 of 14 shots, grabbed seven rebounds and had four steals to lead the Wildcats in what was essentially a tune-up game as Weber State (4-1) prepares to face Utah State for the second time in six days.

"We came out and played hard," Patten said. "We were absolutely zapped after the tournament up there To come out and play like we did was a really good thing."

The Wildcats used a pair of dominating runs early in the game to pull away from Tech and never really look back. Leading 10-7 five minutes into the game, Weber State ripped off a 19-2 rally to stretch its lead to 20 points and then folded a 19-0 run around halftime to push that advantage to 58-27 with 17 minutes left in the game.

Dan Henry added 13 points and Juan Pablo Silveira tossed in 10 as the Wildcats blitzed the Diggers with 63.3 percent shooting.

Aside from a few short Montana Tech rallies, the only spot of contention for Rahe was the 19 turnovers committed.

The Wildcats limited the Orediggers to just 35.7 percent shooting and enjoyed a 38-22 rebounding margin over the NAIA team.

With Patten playing above the rim, the Wildcats had nine dunks in the game and had a 42-20 advantage in points in the paint.

Rahe said the team could have used the overmatched Orediggers as an excuse to get sloppy and still win. Instead, the team stayed focused for most of the game and even turned missed opportunities into positives.

Daviin Davis had a steal and clanged a windmill dunk off the rim. Rather than getting embarrassed, he used the next three possessions to pick up two nice assists on entry passes to the paint and then scored on a slashing layup.

"He didn't hang his head," Rahe said. "He got back, made a nice assist and played some good defense."

But the night truly belonged to Patten.

"He got tougher and more physical as the game went on,' Rahe said. "When he wants to get going, he's a very good player."

E-mail: jeborn@desnews.com