Unimpressed by UCLA's nightmarish seven-point first half against Kentucky and Harvard's anemic 1-for-20 first-half shooting against Virginia, Weber State did its best to outdo the Bruins and Crimson during the first half of an 85-51 loss to Oklahoma on Monday night.
By the time the Wildcats were done, they too had set a record for futility.
Oklahoma waylaid Weber State with a 39-0 first-half surge, the largest scoring run against a Division I foe in college basketball history. The record previously belonged to Utah State, which reeled off a 37-0 run against Idaho in an 80-42 win in Feb. 2006.
What sparked Oklahoma's onslaught was aggressive pressure defense that consistently forced turnovers or disrupted Weber State's offense. In the nearly 11 minutes between a Joel Bolomboy dunk and a Kyndahl Hill 3-pointer, the Wildcats missed 10 straight shots and committed 11 turnovers, enabling the Sooners to build a 49-4 late first-half lead.
“We were run over by a really good, veteran basketball team tonight,” Weber State coach Randy Rahe said. “We couldn’t get anything done against them. We couldn’t handle the pressure and couldn’t make any shots in the first half. We outscored them in the second half which was our goal and we continued to compete which I’m proud of.”
Atrocious as that stretch was for Weber State, the Wildcats can take solace that others have experienced worse.
Texas A&M went an NCAA record 16:08 without scoring against this same Oklahoma program during a 2008 loss. And Southern scored 44 straight points last season against Champion Baptist, a tiny Arkansas-based school that has no scholarship players and competes in the little-known Association of Christian College Athletics.
This was certainly more impressive than Southern's surge last season simply because Weber State is a far superior opponent than Champion Baptist. The perennial Big Sky contenders made the NCAA tournament last season and own a 4-6 record with decent victories against Nevada, Summit League contender Oral Roberts and Big West contender Utah Valley.
It surely didn't help Weber State facing an Oklahoma team that was focused and ready after a disappointing two-point neutral-court loss to Washington two nights earlier. Ryan Spangler and Jordan Woodard led four Sooners in double figures with 15 points apiece.
Credit Weber State for playing hard enough in the second half to outscore Oklahoma 39-34 and make the final score look respectable.
That didn't undo the first-half carnage though. Like UCLA and Harvard before them, the Wildcats ended up on the wrong side of history.
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