State basketball: Free throws lift Montana over Weber State
Missoula, Mont. • Will Cherry scored 28 points and Montana hit 30 of 33 free throws to defeat Weber State 76-74 Saturday night in a battle between the top two teams in the Big Sky Conference.
The Grizzlies (14-4, 10-0 Big Sky) scored eight straight points to take a 74-66 lead with 41 seconds remaining, but Davion Berry scored four quick points and Gelaun Wheelwright made two layups around a pair of Montana free throws to pull Weber State within two points with 3 seconds left. After a Montana turnover, Berry's 3-pointer from mid-court fell short.
The Wildcats (13-5, 8-2) got 17 points apiece from Berry and Frank Otis, while Kyle Tresnak and Scott Bamforth each had 14.
Kareem Jamar and Mathias Ward added 11 points each for the Grizzlies and Spencer Coleman had 10.
The Wildcats outshot the Grizzlies 51 percent to 45 percent, but Montana outrebounded Weber State 31-25 and scored 13 more points at the free-throw line.
Southern Utah 69, Eastern Washington 55 • In Cedar City, Wade Collie scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds and Southern Utah jumped out to an 11-2 lead to begin the game and never looked back.
Southern Utah (7-12, 5-5 Big Sky) had two others in double figures against the Thunderbirds with Damon Heuir scoring 17 points and Jackson Stevenett chipping in with 16 points and six rebounds.
Down 11-2, the Eagles fought back with a 16-6 run to take an 18-17 lead with 10:23 to go in the first half and eventually led 33-31 at halftime.
Southern Utah took over after halftime however, opening the second half with a 24-12 run capped off by Stevenett's jumper to make it 55-45 with 8:15 remaining and kept its double-digit lead for the rest of the game.
Collin Chiverton had 14 points to lead Eastern Washington (4-15, 2-7) and Venky Jois had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Chicago State 62, Utah Valley 54 • In Chicago, Matt Ross scored 12 points, Nate Duhon added 11 and Jamere Dismukes had 10 points, seven assists and four steals for the Cougars (7-15, 2-1 Great West). Quinton Pippen had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Chicago State led 35-25 at halftime and was ahead by as many as 18 points in the second half. The Cougars shot 42 percent.
Nick Thompson led the Wolverines (9-12, 1-3) with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jason Johnson scored 11 points for Utah Valley, which shot 39 percent.
Utah Valley was without top scorer Ben Aird, out with an injury. Aird averages 14 points a game.
Southern Utah downs Eastern Washington 69-55
North Idaho College 87, SLCC 78 • in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, No. 13 NIC snapped No. 15 Salt Lake Community College's 15-game winning streak. Sai Tummala scored a team-high 20 points for the Bruins (19-3, 7-1 Scenic West Athletic Conference).
College of Southern Idaho 75, Snow College 61 • In Twin Falls, Idaho, the Badgers (13-9, 3-4) lost their third straight game to fall below .500 in Scenic West Athletic Conference play.
Dixie State 67, Azusa Pacific 59 • In Saint George, McKay Massey scored a game-high 23 points to lift the Red Storm (13-4, 8-0 Pacific West Conference) to their sixth straight win.
Utah State 76, Lousiana Tech 75 (OT) • In Ruston, La., Jenna Johnson made a layup with five seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Aggies to their fourth straight win. Johnson tallied 15 points and seven rebounds, and Franny Vaaulu scored a team-high 20 points off the bench for Utah State (10-10, 7-2 Western Athletic Conference).
San Francisco 65, BYU 56 • In San Francisco, the Cougars (13-6, 4-2) lost their second West Coast Conference game of the season, despite five 3-pointer and 19 points from guard Haley Steed.
Montana 61, Weber State 53 • In Ogden, the Wildcats (0-19) tied the game 51-51 with just over three minutes remaining against one of the best teams in the Big Sky Conference, but an 8-0 Grizzlies' run soon after extended their winless streak to 37 games, dating to last season.
NJIT 49, Utah Valley 46 • In Newark, N.J., Cydne Gray missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Wolverines lost their first Great West Conference game of the season. Kaycee Mansfield had 18 points and 11 rebounds for UVU (7-13, 2-1).
Eastern Washington 79, Southern Utah 70 • In Cheney, Wash., the Thunderbirds shot just 2 of 18 from 3-point range to fall below .500 in Big Sky Conference play. Hailey Mandelko scored a team-high 14 points for SUU (10-9, 4-5), but shot 2-for-10 from the field and 1-for-7 from 3-point range.
College of Southern Idaho 66, Snow College 54 • In Twin Falls, Idaho, the Badgers (7-15, 1-6) lost their fourth straight game in Scenic West Athletic Conference play.
Westminster 75, Rocky Mountain 39 • In Billings, Mont., the fifth-ranked Griffins ( won their 11th straight game to remain unbeaten in Frontier Conference play.
North Idaho College 68, SLCC 54 •The Bruins (13-8, 4-4) couldn't recover from a 10-point halftime deficit, losing to No. 2 NIC for its second straight loss.
Azusa Pacific 73, Dixie State 62 • In Saint George, Johnna Brown had game highs in points (21) and rebounds (13), but it wasn't enough as the Red Storm (8-9, 6-3) lost at home in Pacific West Conference play.