MISSOULA, Mont. — Weber State dropped its second straight game with a 76-74 defeat to defending Big Sky champion Montana Saturday night in Missoula.
The Wildcats (13-5, 8-2) jumped out to a 23-12 lead with 12:26 to play in the first half but then Montana (14-4, 10-0) got going and went on a 19-6 run of its own and took the lead at 31-29 with 4:28 remaining. Kyle Tresnak and Davion Berry both picked up two fouls and were on the bench for most of the first half. However, the Wildcats battled back and took a 36-35 lead at halftime.
The Grizzlies held a 74-66 lead with 41 seconds to play. Berry scored a quick four points and then the 'Cats cut the lead to three points with 18 seconds left after a Gelaun Wheelwright layup. Wheelwright missed the free throw, however, and Montana knocked down one free throw to take a 76-72 lead with 14 seconds left.
Wheelwright made another layup to cut the lead to two points with three seconds left and then Montana turned the ball over. The 'Cats had a chance but Berry's desperation three-pointer from mid-court was short and Montana pulled out the win.
"We battled and fought like crazy and gave ourselves a chance at the end, but just came up short," said WSU head coach Randy Rahe.
Frank Otis had a career-high 17 points and a game-high seven boards.
The loss was the third straight for Weber State against Montana and the fifth straight defeat to the Grizzlies in Missoula. It was Montana's 21st straight Big Sky win.