Weber State crumbles down the stretch in Big Sky title game, falls to UND in OT

Saturday , March 11, 2017 - 10:53 PM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

RENO, Nev. — Weber State squandered a six-point lead with 51 seconds to play Saturday night before falling to North Dakota 93-89 in overtime in the Big Sky Championship game at the Reno Events Center.

“We've been here before many times,” WSU head coach Randy Rahe of going into overtime. “We've got tough guys, they've been in that situation. You just have to get tough, you find a way, you rely on each other and we did.

“Basically, they made two more plays than us. That's what happens when two good basketball teams get together and play.”

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Weber State

After UND’s Geno Crandall made two free throws to cut Weber’s lead to 81-77 with 48 seconds left, Dusty Baker couldn’t hold on to the ensuing inbound pass and Weber State turned the ball over to the Fighting Hawks.

Big Sky Tournament MVP Quinton Hooker scored on the next possession. With 13 seconds left, Senglin missed a contested, driving layup.

Crandall raced up the court and laid in the game-tying bucket with seven seconds left, then Jerrick Harding was blocked on a 3-point attempt at the regulation buzzer.

“I think they're going to foul us,” Rahe said of the inbound play gone awry. “We're a really good free-throw shooting team, if we get that ball in bounds and secure, I think they're going to foul us, I think we're in decent shape. That stuff happens in a tough ballgame, but that was a tough one to take.”

Weber State made one field goal in the extra period, and and went 5 of 6 from the free-throw line. North Dakota drained three shots and made all six of its free throws to punch its first-ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament.


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The Wildcats had the hot hand and took control early. A 3-pointer from McKay Cannon capped a 13-2 run to give the Wildcats a 20-10 lead. Senglin made back-to-back 3s in the spurt and freshman guard Harding scored seven straight to start the game.

The Fighting Hawks locked down defensively and put together a 19-6 run to gain a 46-42 halftime advantage. Kyndahl Hill was the only Wildcat to score in the stint with two field goals and two free throws.

Senglin scored 10 unanswered points to fuel an early 13-0 second-half run to give the Wildcats a 61-52 lead.

In the run, Senglin made a 3-pointer with 14:38 to play that made him Weber State’s all-time leading scorer. Bruce Collins (1976-80) held the previous record of 2,019. Senglin now has 2,030 career points and is 73 away from breaking the Big Sky’s all-time scoring record.

MORESenglin breaks Weber State's career scoring record

Weber State’s lead was 72-62 with less than eight minutes to play, and that’s when the Fighting Hawks staged their comeback.

The Wildcats made only one field goal in last seven minutes of the game, opening the door the North Dakota to force overtime.

Senglin finished with a team-high 26 points and Hill added 21 to tie his career high while pulling down 12 rebounds.

Senglin and Harding were both named to the all-tournament team.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats’ season is not over. Rahe confirmed his team will play in a post-season tournament, but did not specify which one. Weber State is likely to play in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT), a tournament in which it was runner-up in 2013.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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