Photo by Brigham Berthold
OGDEN, Utah—Weber State University beat UVU 93-85 in the Dee Events Center Saturday night. WSU torched the Wolverines with 12 3-pointers, shooting 60 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats’ Jeremy Senglin scored 27 points to lead all scorers and help Weber improve to 6-4 all-time versus UVU.
In a game that was called tight by the officials from the beginning, UVU struggled with foul trouble. Juniors Kenneth Ogbe and Isaac Neilson saw limited playing time in the first half as each player was charged with two fouls early on. Ogbe, who finished with nine points and five rebounds, played just five minutes in the first half.
“We know our frontline is not deep but it’s something we have to manage this year,” head coach Mark Pope said. “Our rotation is a little sporadic. We’re searching for ways that we can grow and I’m reaching into different spots right now.”
Brandon Randolph scored 15 points to lead all Wolverine scorers. The junior guard went 7-of-10 from the field and tacked on five assists and five rebounds. Randolph, in 33 minutes played, helped the Wolverines keep the game within striking distance for much of the night. Down by two points with nearly eight minutes remaining in the second half, the Wildcats went on a 14-5 run and UVU was unable to scratch its way back.
“They’re a good team but we have to cover our defensive assignments,” Pope said. “I did a bad job with my team preparing them to do that. Sometimes you say the words but you need to get it into your guys and I get an F on that for sure because we didn’t. They beat us the way they beat you and that’s really disappointing for me. That’s my responsibility.”
Despite trailing by 14 points with three minutes to play, the Wolverines were able to get the lead down to seven points but no further. UVU’s loss to WSU marks the fourth consecutive game in which it has lost by eight points or fewer, highlighting a difficulty to win close games.
“I need us to play harder and execute a little better and smarter,” Pope said. “I need us to tighten up the ship and not run out of gas.”
Saturday was UVU’s third straight game against an in-state opponent and fourth overall. The Wolverines remain winless all-time in Ogden and drop to 1-3 against Utah schools after a lone win over BYU.
“This is a hard schedule,” said Pope. “Every game is emotional. We’re being really stretched and really challenged. We’re trying to grow and the growth the last two weeks is… we’ve taken some steps back. To grow, sometimes you need to take some steps back. We’re in a growth phase that might look like it’s backward but we’re growing. I wish we were winning but we will.”
UVU remains on the road where it will play the University of Texas at San Antonio on Wednesday. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. MST.
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.