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College basketball analysis: How Weber State got the upper hand on UVU in a battle of star guards

Brandon Judd, Deseret News
Brandon Judd, Deseret News
Weber State players gather during their 93-85 victory over Utah Valley on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016.

OGDEN — In a non-conference season full of tightly contested in-state games, Saturday's game between Weber State and UVU delivered another thriller.

This time, it was the Wildcats that bested the Wolverines, 93-85, at the Dee Events Center. At the middle of the action was a battle between two guards — Weber State's Jeremy Senglin and UVU's Conner Toolson — who are the leading scorers for their respective teams.

On this night, Senglin was the victor.

Here's how Senglin helped the Wildcats (4-6) overcome Toolson and the Wolverines (5-5) and keep the home team undefeated in this in-state rivalry.

Senglin key to 19-7 run

With 9:45 to play, the Wolverines pulled within two at 66-64 on a Zach Nelson 2-pointer. From there, though, Weber State took control and Senglin played a key role in a 19-7 run that gave the Wildcats their biggest lead at 85-71 with 3:02 to play.

With the shot clock winding down and Weber State nursing a four-point lead, the Wildcats' Cody John passed from the top of the key out to Senglin near the team's bench. With Toolson on defense, Senglin faked left and took one dribble to the right before sizing up a 3-point shot with about four seconds left on the shot clock, hitting the 3 to make it 74-67.

Jeremy Senglin hit this 3 at the shot clock ran down as part of a 14-5 run in the 2nd half, @WeberStateMBB beats @UVUmbb 93-85

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) December 18, 2016

That started a stretch where Senglin scored 11 of the Wildcats' 14 points, and he came up with a steal that led to the team's other bucket, a 3-pointer from Dusty Baker that gave Weber State its first double-digit lead at 77-67.

More from Saturday: Jeremy Senglin with the 2nd-half steal (1 of 3 in the game) and the Dusty Baker 3 puts @WeberStateMBB up 10 in 93-85 win

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) December 20, 2016

All totaled, Senglin scored 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting — including 3 of 3 from 3-point range — while hitting two free throws during the 19-7 in the second half. Senglin added a steal and a turnover in that stretch while playing 5:03 in the run.

Toolson was noticeably less impactful during the 19-7 run, as he played just 2:58 during that stretch. After re-entering the game with 5:05 to play and UVU trailing 80-69, Toolson fouled Senglin to give the Weber State guard two free throws. He hit a layup and missed a 3-point attempt before the Wildcats' run ended.

Toolson's best second-half moment came earlier, when he hit a layup in transition of a Hayden Schenck steal to make it a 55-54 game with 13:38 to play.

More from Saturday: Conner Toolson (13 points) with the 2nd half transition layup after a Hayden Schenck steal in Weber State's 93-85 win

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) December 20, 2016

Ultimately, though, Senglin — who outscored Toolson 27 to 13 in the game — dominated the second half between the two star guards, which proved vital in a game that was 51-48 in favor of Weber State at the half.

Here's a look at their second-half stat lines.

Senglin: 18 minutes, 17 points, 5 of 9 field goals, 4 of 6 3-pointers, 3 of 4 free throws, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers

Toolson: 13 minutes, 6 points, 2 of 8 field goals, 0 of 4 3-pointers, 2 of 2 free throws, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover

3-point dominance

Weber State coach Randy Rahe challenged his team to pick up the pace, while playing under control, in the second half, and they responded against a UVU team with a reputation for hitting 3s and pushing the ball offensively.

The Wildcats hit 61.5 percent of their shots from the field in the second half, putting up 52 points in the back half of the game. Senglin hit four of the team's eight second-half 3-pointers, as Weber State went 8 of 14 from beyond the arc.

Toolson and the Wolverines, meanwhile, hit just 3 of 14 3-pointers in the second half after making 4 of 10 in the first half.

For the game, Weber State hit 12 of 20 3-pointers, while UVU was 7 of 24.

Senglin tops in other aspects of the game

Both Senglin and Toolson had similar lines when it came to driving to the hoop. Senglin finished the day hitting 3 of 6 from 2-point range, while Toolson was 3 of 7. Senglin did have the advantage in assists, with three to Toolson's one, and also had three steals to none for Toolson.

Senglin, with Toolson guarding him, also hit a driving layup on the final play of the first half, setting a tone for the second half for Weber State.

Jeremy Senglin has 10 points, including this driving layup before halftime, as @WeberStateMBB leads @UVUmbb 41-38 at half

— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) December 18, 2016