I wrote about Northern Colorado going on the road and dispatching Kansas State, but let's take a quick look at the rest of the happenings in the Big Sky on opening night.
BYU 81, Weber State 72
The Wildcats got off to a very slow start (BYU led 17-3, and then their largest lead was 41-22), and the Wildcats simply couldn't catch up the rest of the day. Weber State made some runs throughout the second half, but BYU simply always had an answer for them.
The Cougars shot 44% for the day, and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds. Tyler Haws scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Matt Carlino had 22 points for BYU.
WSU was led by senior big man Kyle Tresnak, who scored a career-high 24 points on 10/16 shooting, while also grabbing 6 rebounds. Davion Berry had 23 points for the Wildcats as well, shooting 8/16 from the floor.
Joel Bolomboy showed off his talents and the things he needed to work on in this game, as he grabbed 13 rebounds (six of them on the offensive end) and blocked two shots, but was 4/12 from the field. Also, freshman Jeremy Senglin had a solid debut. He was just 4/11 from the floor, but played 35 minutes with two turnovers. It is clear he will have a big role in their season.
It's a tough loss for Weber State to begin the year, but BYU is a good club who will win a ton of games this season. On the road, they fought hard after a poor start, and a little adversity to start the year could be good in the long run.
Southern Utah 85, Arizona Christian 78
Arizona Christian beat Northern Arizona in an exhibition game last week, making this one a little more interesting than a typical Big Sky team hosting an NAIA squad to start the year.
While the Firestorm did put up a lot of points, the Thunderbirds showed a surprisingly amount of punch offensively. Southern Utah shot 45% from the floor, and got to the line 26 times in the season-opening victory.
AJ Hess led the charge was 17 points and six rebounds, shooting 5/9 from the floor and 5/5 from the charity stripe. Four other guys scored in double figures for SUU, including senior Jayson Cheesman (12) and freshman Juwan Major (12). Freshman Trey Kennedy also scored 11, going 8/8 from the FT line.
UNLV 67, Portland State 48
Portland State made things interesting for a half, but ultimately UNLV was just a little too talented for the Vikings to hang tight. PSU trailed by a point at halftime, but couldn't get anything going in the second half.
Tim Douglas had an uneven debut for the Vikings, scoring 18 points, but also turning the ball over eight times. No other Viking was in double figures, as Kyle Richardson (9) and DaShaun Wiggins (9) were the next highest totals.
PSU star Aaron Moore was saddled with foul trouble throughout, scoring two points and grabbing one rebound in 15 minutes before fouling out. Ultimately, it's a 19 point loss for Portland State, but they have to be encouraged by the way they played in the first half, and it should give them something to build on.
Sacramento State 73, UC Santa Cruz 43
The Hornets rolled to an easy home victory over UC Santa Cruz, taking a 37-15 lead into the half before winning 73-43.
Five Hornets finished in double figures, lef by 14 from Mikh McKinney. Dylan Garrity (11 points, 5 assists), Alex Tiffin (10), Nick Hornsby (10), and Jordan Salley (11) were the other to score in double figures. One other guy of note is Eric Stuteville, who had seven points and six rebounds in 15 minutes.
It's tough to glean much from this game other than this - Sacramento State should have dominated, and they did. By that measure, it's a successful opening night for the Hornets.
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