Weber State University held Montana State to just two points over the final 4:48 to register an 84-75 victory at the Dee Events Center Thursday night.
The win was the second in less than a week over the Bobcats for Weber.It looked like the game might be over early in the first half as the Wildcats ran out to a quick 6-0 lead. Following a timeout, the Bobcats put together their own mini streak to jump up 9-6. Weber quickly regained the lead at 13-12 only to see another streak by Montana State give the Bobcats a 21-15 edge.
When Weber center David Baldwin knocked in a layin off an offensive rebound at the 8:39 mark, the Wildcats were back in front to stay. Weber used a 19-6 run to open a 17-point bulge at 49-32 with 2:20 to play but had to settle for a 51-39 half time lead as Montana State ran off the last five points in the half.
"We didn't do a good job of preparing for the second half," noted Weber coach Denny Huston. "We lost our concentration."
That lack of concentration allowed Montana State to get a 11-2 run to open the second half and narrow the gap to 53-50. Bobcat center Allen Lightfoot went to work inside and almost single-handedly brought Montana State to within one at 63-62 at the 12:40 mark.
Weber decided that was too close for comfort and quickly pushed the margin back out to 71-62. Montana State never managed to get closer than three the rest of the way - setting the stage for crunch time.
"In crunch time we got a big block from Baldwin, a critical rebound and big time hoops from (Aaron) Bell and Baldwin," Huston said.
Huston also had high praise for Baldwin's defensive work in the middle. "We gave up 35 points at that position last week. David held him (Lightfoot) to seven in the first half - I don't know what the second half numbers were."
For the Wildcats, it was a balanced attack that paved the way. Bell and Baldwin led the scoring with 19 points each to go with 15 from Tony Nicholas and 12 from Al Hamilton. The 'Cats grabbed 39 rebounds and shot 51.6 percent from the floor, including six for 10 from three-point range.
Montana State's Willard Dean led all scorers with 26 points including four treys. Lightfoot added 19 to go with 15 from Johnny Mack.
Weber goes to 3-4 in Big Sky play and 8-10 on the season as they prepare to play at Boise State on Saturday. Montana State dropped to 5-4 in league play and 10-10 on the year.