In their third straight Big Sky Championship game, Weber State was just not going to be denied. After their overtime win over Northern Colorado in the semifinals, there was some thought that they might be a little tired after having to go an extra frame in a physical game. However, they put any notions of that to rest very quickly.
Weber State beat North Dakota 88-67, and they are your Big Sky champions.
The Wildcats came out firing in this game, hitting their first six shots and 10 of their first 11. Before UND knew what hit them, the score was 18-6 and the crowd was very much in the game. North Dakota did a really good job of hanging around, but they could just never full recover, and were forced to play from behind the whole game.
Weber State got things going by hitting their outside shot, and that stayed with them the whole way. They finished 10/21 from behind the arc, and always seemed to have a big shot in them whenever one was needed. The defining moment of the game may have been at the end of the first half... UND scratched and clawed to get the game back to 41-34, only to see Davion Berry drain the three at the buzzer, and turn around to have Damian Lillard, sitting in the front row, there to high-five. It was that kind of night for Berry (19 points) and the Wildcats.
In the second half, with UND forced to respect the outside shot, it became the Kyle Tresnak show. He was unstoppable in the second half, playing perhaps the best game of his career. He scored a career high 27 points on 11/15 FG, and 5/5 from the charity stripe. He was great.
For North Dakota, it's a tough end for a great group of seniors who accomplished so much, but won't get a taste of the NCAA Tournament. Guys like Troy Huff, Aaron Anderson, Jamal Webb, Josh Schuler, and Brandon Brekke (though he battled injury problems) really lifted the program to another level. They have a lot to be proud of. In this one, Josh Schuler and Jamal Webb didn't play (well, Webb very sparingly) and that hurt them, but I'm not sure it would have made a difference with the way Weber State was playing.
Weber State had 55 wins the past two seasons but couldn't get over the hump in the championship game. This year, they did it emphatically. At 19-11, Weber State is going to the NCAA Tournament. They are a great program, and you have to be happy for those guys and the coaching staff! Now let's go win an NCAA Tournament game!
Follow me on Twitter @bigskybball