Weber State basketball: Wildcats advance to CIT final
Cedar Falls, Iowa • Davion Berry scored 15 points, Scott Bamforth added 14, and Weber State beat Northern Iowa 59-56 on Saturday night to reach the final of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The Wildcats will play East Carolina in the CIT final at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Dee Events Center in a game televised by CBS Sports Network. The Pirates crushed Evansville 81-58 in the other CIT semifinal Saturday.
Berry scored four straight points to give Weber State (30-6) the lead for good with 4:12 remaining. The Wildcats, who became the first team in Big Sky history to win 30 games in a season, led by nine points in the second half, but the Panthers (22-14) took their first lead at 44-43 after an 11-0 run.
"This was an extremely tough game against a really physical and talented team in a tough environment," said Weber State coach Randy Rahe, who picked up his 150th career victory. "We missed some shots but kept fighting and found a way to do against a really tough opponent. It's been a remarkable run, and 30 wins is a phenomenal accomplishment."
The Wildcats started the game on a 14-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Bamforth. But Northern Iowa countered with a 10-2 run of its own to get within 16-12 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Bamforth shot 4-for-7 from the 3-point line for the Wildcats. Frank Otis added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
"It was a really physical game and a battle until the end," Otis said. "This is a confidence boost for us to beat a talented team like this. We are really excited to be going back home to play for the championship."
Seth Tuttle posted 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Northern Iowa, which shot just 17.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Weber State freshman Joel Bolomboy left the game with a separated shoulder after playing just nine minutes. He will be re-evaluated for Tuesday's game.
Weber State 59, No. Iowa 56
R Davion Berry's jumper with 4:12 remaining puts the Wildcats ahead for good.
• Berry finishes with 15 points, Scott Bamforth scores 14 and frank Otis adds 13 as Weber wins its 30th game.