The loss drops WSU to 13-5 in Big Sky play and the ‘Cats can still finish in a tie for the conference title with North Dakota and/or Montana. However, it was confirmed late in the evening by the Big Sky, there is no scenario where Weber State does not win a tiebreaker. WSU’s sweep over North Dakota would clinch any tiebreaker for the Wildcats.
The Big Sky Tournament will be March 13-15 at the Dee Events Center. The winner earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
On Senior Night in front of 8,463 fans, Weber State saw its new Big Sky record 27-game losing streak come to an end, despite a furious late-game rally by the Wildcats.
NAU led 37-28 at halftime and led by as many as 15 points early in the second half. The Lumberjacks led by 11 points at 65-54 with 1:43 to play but the Wildcats did not give up. WSU closed the game on a 14-3 run over the 1:43. NAU led 68-66 with 15 seconds left when Davion Berry drove to the hoop and scored a layup with nine seconds left. He missed the free throw and NAU missed the final shot to send the game in overtime.
The ‘Cats took a one-point lead with 2:12 left in overtime but could not score again. Trailing by one point with 14 seconds left, the Wildcats had a shot clock violation, giving NAU a chance and Upshur knocked down the game winning 3-pointer.
It was WSU’s first home loss in a Big Sky regular season game in three years.
NAU shot 49 percent from the field, compared to 46 percent for Weber State and the Lumberjacks outrebounded the Wildcats 33-31. WSU was 18-29 from the free throw line and committed 12 turnovers.
Berry led the Wildcats with 23 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out four assists. Freshman Jeremy Senglin added 18 points, including four 3-pointers and Richaud Gittens had 11 points off the bench.
The Wildcats will close out the regular season with two road games next week at Portland State and Eastern Washington before the tournament begins. The top seven teams in the league standings will advance to the conference tournament.