FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (ABC 4 Sports) - Weber State escaped with a wild 80-78 overtime win at Northern Arizona Saturday afternoon in Flagstaff, Ariz., to keep their Big Sky title hopes alive. The win is the ninth straight for the Wildcats who improve to 22-5 overall and 16-2 in Big Sky play.
The Wildcats trailed by seven points at 65-58 with 1:08 to play but closed out regulation on an 11-4 run to force overtime at 69-69.
Scott Bamforth and Jordan Richardson each knocked down quick three-pointers to start the overtime and the ‘Cats would never trail again. Weber State was 3-5 from the field in the overtime period.
Davion Berry tied his career-high with 25 points to lead the way. Berry had eight of Weber State’s last 13 points in the last 1:22 of regulation. For the game he was 6-14 from the field and 11-13 from the free throw line to go along with four rebounds and two assists in 42 minutes of action.
Bamforth added 20 points on 7-12 shooting, including 4-8 from three-point range. Gelaun Wheelwright added 10 points and Joel Bolomboy had nine points and seven rebounds.
“We kind of put ourselves in a bad position and lost our energy in the second half and became stagnant,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “But our players never quit believing they could win and we were able to find a way to get it done. We had a lot of guys step up and contribute which is what you have to have to win on the road.”
The Wildcats were in control in the first half and jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead and never trailed in the first half, leading by as many as 12 before taking a 37-29 lead.
But the second half was all NAU. After Weber State scored the opening bucket and led 39-29, the Lumberjacks responded with a 20-3 run over the next 11 minutes and held a 49-42 lead with 8:32 to play and would never trail again. After two three-pointers by Bamforth the ‘Cats cut the lead to two points at 52-50 with 5:30 to play but NAU responded with a 6-2 run.
The Lumberjacks led by seven at 63-56 with 2:27 to play after three free throws from Gabe Rogers and then led again by seven with 1:08 to play before the Wildcats came back to force overtime.
Weber State finished the game shooting 47 percent from the field and 39 percent from the three-point line. The Wildcats came into the game leading the nation in both categories. NAU shot 42 percent from the field for the game. WSU was 19-23 from the free throw line, including 15-19 from the line in the second half and overtime.
Weber State also outrebounded Northern Arizona 38-34 but the ‘Cats did commit 19 turnovers.
Rogers tied Berry with 25 points for Northern Arizona and knocked down six three-pointers.
The victory was Weber State’s 10th road win of the season, the most road wins they have won in a season in 43 years. The ‘Cats still need Montana to lose one game to have a chance at the Big Sky title and host the conference tournament.
WSU closes out the Big Sky regular season next week two home games, hosting Portland State Thursday and Eastern Washington on Saturday.