Wildcats Down Montana for Share of Big Sky Title

Wildcats Down Montana for Share of Big Sky Title

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OGDEN, Utah -- The Weber State University men's basketball team gave the nearly-6,000 fans at the Dee Events Center something else to love on Valentine's Day as they defeated Montana 73-67, clinching a share of the Big Sky title.

The Wildcats left the floor at halftime trailing 34-32, but they quickly regained the lead in the second half as Dave Patten and Arturas Valeika scored the first four points of the half.

The Grizzlies came back to take a four-point lead at 56-52 with 5:30 remaining, but Weber State responded with a 14-2 run to go ahead 66-58 with 77 seconds left.

Patten, Juan Pablo Silveira and Dezmon Harris combined to hit 7-of-10 free throws in the final 46 seconds to seal the win.

Weber State shot 51 percent for the game, while holding the Grizzlies to only 41 percent (34 percent in the second half).

Patten led all players with 21 points, hitting 9-of-13 shots from the floor. The senior forward also grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds, tying Valeika for game-high honors.

Silveira added 19 points for the Wildcats, hitting 7-of-11 shots from the floor (2-of-3 from behind the arc), while Harris chipped in with 15.

Bryan Ellis and Jordan Hasquet scored 17 and 16 points, respectively to lead Montana, while the Wildcats held Andrew Strait and Matt Martin to a combined 11 points. Strait and Martin teamed to score 50 points against WSU in a 90-86 overtime win against the 'Cats on Jan. 20 in Missoula, Mont.

The Wildcats move to 18-10 overall and 11-4 in the Big Sky, and can clinch the conference title outright with a win against Sacramento State on Feb. 26 in Sacramento, Calif.

The Grizzlies fall to 14-12 overall and 8-5 in the Big Sky and will need help from both Sacramento State and Montana State to get back in the running for the conference championship.

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