Weber State vs Montana

Montana tops Weber State for Big Sky championship wire reports

MISSOULA, Mont. -- After earning his second straight Big Sky tournament MVP honor while helping Montana defend its title, Kareem Jamar's was more focused on the Grizzlies' return trip to the NCAA tournament.

Jamar scored 20 points, Will Cherry had 18 and Montana held off Weber State 67-64 Saturday night to win the conference tourney title a league-record ninth time.

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Jamar became the leauge's first player in 33 years to win back-to-back MVP honors since Bruce Collins did it for Weber State three years in a row, from 1978-1980.

"I wish I could be happy about individual awards, I'm not even thinking about MVP, man," Jamar said.

The Grizzlies won the tournament for the third time in four years, and sixth in the last 12.

"This is our third trip to the dance, they're all special," Montana's seventh-year coach Wayne Tinkle said. "This one is unbelievable."

Cherry's 3-pointer extended Montana's lead to 62-57 with 46 seconds to go. After Frank Otis' layup pulled Weber State within three, Jordan Gregory made two free throws with 22 seconds remaining for the Grizzlies.

Gelaun Wheelwright hit a 3 to get the Wildcats to 64-62 with 11 seconds to go. Cherry was fouled a second later and made both free throws for Montana (25-6).

Jordan Richardson missed a 3 for Weber State (26-6) with 4 seconds remaining, but Joel Bolomboy's putback got the Wildcats within two.

Mike Weisner was fouled and made 1 of 2 from the line with 2 seconds to go for the Grizzlies, and Scott Bamforth's last-second heave was short as the Grizzlies returned to the NCAA tournament for the 10th time.

Gregory finished with 12 points for Montana.

Davion Berry, Bamforth and Bolomboy scored 12 points each to lead Weber State, and Wheelwright added 11 points and nine rebounds.

Weber State had a stretch of 13 consecutive wins, including an 87-63 victory over Montana at home on Feb. 14. In that game the Wildcats dominated in the post, but their inside presence disappeared in this game.

"I felt like we were the better team, they couldn't handle us inside or outside," Otis said of the previous meeting. "They got it done tonight."

Cherry had six points during the Grizzlies' 8-0 run that gave them a 56-50 lead with about 5 1/2 minutes to go, and they didn't trail again.

"He's been a huge part of [Montana's] program for some years now," Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said of Cherry. "I'm sure he'll go down as one of the best players in school history."

Berry, the Wildcats' leading scorer at 15.3 points per game, made 3 of 4 free throws in a 36-second span, and Kyle Tresnak made 1 of 2 to pull Weber State within two about 2 minutes later.

Jamar's three-point play extended Montana's lead to 59-54 with 3:10 to go. Berry followed with a 3 -- just his second field goal in five attempts at that point -- to get the Wildcats within two again, but the 76-percent free-throw shooter missed two from the line with 1:50 left.

Montana used a 16-7 run in the first half to take a 25-16 lead on Mike Weisner's 3 with 9 minutes to go.

Bamforth scored seven points in Weber State's 10-3 spurt that made it 29-27 on Bolomboy's three-point play with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the half. Bolomboy's free throw with 51 seconds left tied the score at 34 at the break.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Montana holds off a very game Weber St. team to win its second consecutive Big Sky title.  (AP)
Montana holds off a very game Weber St. team to win its second consecutive Big Sky title. (AP)
Weber State (26-6)343064
Montana (25-6) «343367
WEBER:S. Bamforth 12 Pts
WEBER:J. Bolomboy 9 Reb
WEBER:J. Richardson 4 Ast
MNTNA:K. Jamar 20 Pts
MNTNA:A. Martin 6 Reb
MNTNA:K. Jamar 5 Ast

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Weber StateMontana
Joel Bolomboy
Kareem Jamar
Weber State Wildcats
D. Berry, F374-103-641512
F. Otis, F223-53-44039
K. Tresnak, C271-63-62025
S. Bamforth, G364-91-160312
J. Richardson, G291-60-03423
J. Bolomboy294-64-690312
G. Wheelwright183-54-420111
J. Hajek20-00-01000
Totals 20-4718-273351964
Montana Grizzlies
K. Jamar, F399-131-255220
S. Coleman, F122-20-01045
E. Hutchison, C201-10-01042
W. Cherry, G306-165-733318
J. Gregory, G293-43-420112
M. Weisner302-61-23147
A. Martin180-11-26011
K. DeShields170-50-01010
K. Henderson51-10-01002
Totals 24-4911-172592067
Big Sky
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
North Dakota14-422-10144
E. Wash.13-522-12148
Weber St.12-620-14185
Montana St.11-716-16254
Sac. State9-913-18293
Portland St.7-1115-16268
N. Colo.7-1111-18287
N. Arizona6-129-23335
Idaho St.3-156-26340
So. Utah3-156-27341
Other games
USM 79 Final
NCST 71 Final
BAMA 51 Final
FLA 61
BUTL 56 Final
STL 67
WISC 68 Final
IND 56
MASS 62 Final
VCU 71
MIST 58 Final
KSU 54 Final
KAN 70
NMEX 63 Final
SYR 61 Final
LOU 78
ORE 78 Final