Ogden • Weber State defeated Montana State by 12 earlier in the season, but things have changed in recent games for the Wildcats — and not for the better.

So it's no suprise that the 'Cats didn't derive any sort of confidence from that win.

"We weren't thinking how we beat them before, because we beat a lot of teams before and they beat us," said Weber State guard Jeremy Senglin, a senior who played his last game at the Dee Events Center.

Although the Wildcats came into their last regular-season contest on a four-game slide, Weber State (17-12, 12-6) did end on a winning note with a 76-67 victory over the Bobcats.

Weber State secured the third seed in the upcoming Big Sky Conference tournament. If the game had gone the other way, Weber could have slid all the way down to the sixth seed and would have played on Tuesday.

Now, the defending Big Sky champs can wait until Thursday to see their first tourney action in Reno, Nev.

"It was really important, because if we lose this we go to the sixth seed and don't get a bye game," Senglin said. "We're not hiding it, or keeping it in — we wanted that bye game.

"And we would have lost five in a row. That just sucks, and nobody wants that going into no tournament," he added.

Senglin finished with 22 points while freshman Jerrick Harding tallied 19. Dusty Baker scored a dozen points while Kyndahl Hill, also a senior for the 'Cats, scored nine and hauled down 15 boards.

Montana State (16-15, 11-7) was within a point after a bucket from Harald Frey and a three-point play by Devonte Klines with 8:31 left in the game.

Weber responded, however, with a 9-3 run as Zach Braxton, Harding and Baker all tickled the twine.

The visiting Bobcats' last real threat came when Zach Green hit a shot to make the score 61-57 for Weber with 5:09 remaining. After nearly three more minutes of playing time, the Wildcats had scored only three points on free throws.

But Weber State had held Montana State scoreless in that same stretch.

"We had each other's back the entire time on defense, playing the gaps, playing hard," Hill said. "And finishing with the rebound."

The team's three seniors were honored before the opening tip. The third senior , Richaud Gittens, saw his season end with a foot injury six games into the campaign.

"As everyone knows, we've been going through a little bit of a rough stretch here," Wildcats coach Randy Rahe said. "When you do that, your culture is challenged a little bit, your character is challenged a little bit, your togetherness is challenged a little bit.

"In all those areas, our players didn't flinch one bit," Rahe added. "It was a good win for us, it really was."