Our dream Big Sky finals matchup awaits us: Montana vs Weber State, part 3. How did they get there? On Friday night, the road wasn't as easy as some might have expected, especially for Weber State.
In one of the most exciting games of the Big Sky season, Weber State clawed back from a 12 point second half deficit to beat North Dakota 76-74 and clinch their spot in the Big Sky championship. It was everything you would want in a game of this magnitute. North Dakota played their best game of the year, but just couldn't pull it out, thanks to Weber State making a ton of plays down the stretch, as you would expect them to do.
UND pulled up 52-40 at the 17 minute mark, though you need the Wildcats would not go away. That they did not was in large part due to the play of Davion Berry and freshman Joel Bolomboy. To me, Bolomboy was the player of the game. He had 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks, continually making an impact on both ends of the court. He showed more post moves than he has all season, and showed more of the potential that he has hinted at this year. He was outstanding.
Berry paced the Wildcats with 25 points, though he was just 7/19 from the floor. He attacked relentlessly, earning himself 12 trips to the free throw line. He also pulled down six rebounds.
In the last minute and a half, though, it was neither of those guys making the big plays for Weber State. Scott Bamforth had a quiet 10 points before hitting a corner three to tie the game late. That was just a senior making a huge shot when his team needed it the most. Then, on the Wildcats last possession, with the game tied at 74, they went inside to Kyle Tresnak, who had a nice baby hook for what wound up being the game-winner. Tresnak played 18 minutes because of foul trouble, but he was the man that Randy Rahe trusted with the final shot, and he delivered.
North Dakota certainly has nothing to hang their heads about, as they gave a really good team everything they could handle and then some. Troy Huff led the way with 22 points and 8 rebounds, getting a head start on his 2014 Big Sky POY campaign. He was seemingly everywhere. Guys like Aaron Anderson, Brandon Brekke, Mitch Willmer, and Jamal Webb also had solid games, but UND just wasn't able to finish it out. They turned it over just five times in the game, but struggled to get good looks at times in the second half, with a lot of credit for that going to WSU.
North Dakota finishes the year at 16-16, though there is a chance they could make it into a small tournament. Weber State moves to 26-5 as they prepare for the Big Sky title bout.
Follow me on Twitter @bigskybball