I just came out and was really aggressive. It feels great to see all of my hard work pay off, especially with my rebounding. I chase the ball and try to win every possession, so it’s great to hit that mark. – Weber State’s Joel Bolomboy
OREM — There is no denying that Weber State senior big man Joel Bolomboy is one of the most dominant players in the nation, and, he’s been a man on a mission this season.
Bolomboy, who leads the nation in double-doubles, recorded his ninth double-double in nine games against in-state rival UVU Wednesday night and made history by joining Willie Sojourner as the only other player to record 1,000 career rebounds in school history.
“After the BYU loss, I just told myself to do as much as I can to help my team win. I just came out and was really aggressive. It feels great to see all of my hard work pay off, especially with my rebounding. I chase the ball and try to win every possession, so it’s great to hit that mark,” Bolomboy said.
However, not even his monstrous performance of 28 points and 20 rebounds was enough to help WSU escape the UCCU Center with the win as UVU erased an eight-point deficit in the final 2:20 of regulation and hung on down the stretch to claim the narrow 84-81 double-overtime win and snap a four-game skid.
“This one (loss) is really frustrating, especially because we had two overtimes. We had a lot of turnovers and we didn’t do what we needed to do on our key possessions. We had 19 turnovers tonight and need to execute better — that just killed us,” added Bolomboy.
Neither team was able to establish an early rhythm or buy a bucket as they both shot under 34 percent from the field and combined for 17 turnovers before heading to the break all knotted up at 25-25.
Following a dismal first-half performance in which star point guard Jeremy Senglin went 0-for-5 from the field and tallied just one point, the big-time scorer quickly regrouped and instantly found a rhythm.
The Big Sky’s second-leading scorer (20.1 PPG) erupted for 24 points in the final 20 minutes and finished with 10 boards to keep the ‘Cats in control for most of the game and down the stretch.
“My teammates and the coaching staff kept encouraging me to shoot the ball and that’s just what I did. My teammates really picked me up and we’ve just got to execute better. And I need to take care of the ball more,” said Senglin.
However, unfortunately for the visitors, the Wolverines capitalized off a plethora of WSU turnovers, mental miscues and missed free throws as they stormed back once again to erase a seven-point deficit in the final 1:21 and force a second OT.
UVU Sharp-shooter Jackson paved the way in both of his team’s comebacks as he accounted for five of his team’s final seven points in the first overtime and drilled a momentous trey with one minute left in the second to seal the thrilling win. He finished the night with a team-high 23 points and four 3-pointers, including 18 points and three treys in the second half alone.
“We had several chances to win the game, we lost our composure and we just didn’t handle it very well. We had some key turnovers at key spots in the game and had the position to win the game — we just didn’t finish it off. There were too many mistakes,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said.
Ryan Love is a full-time student and has been a part-time sportswriter for Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724