The Wildcats' bench cheers as Weber State defeated Oral Roberts  (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
The Wildcats’ bench cheers as Weber State defeated Oral Roberts 62-61.
(Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

In a physical match, the Weber State men’s basketball team was able to overcome a six-point deficit late in the second half to beat Oral Roberts University 62-61 at the Dee Events Center Monday night.

“I told the boys all through practice that this was going to be one of the tougher teams that we face physically,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “I am proud of the way they stepped up and came together as a team and win this one in the end.”

The first half was a slow start for the Wildcats, who—despite a strong effort—trailed the Golden Eagles for the majority of the half before putting forth a strong effort and bringing the game to a 24-24 tie. Sophomore guard Richaud Gittens hit a long three-point basket as time expired to tie the game. His shot later ended up on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 Plays.

“When it got tough, we were able to pull together and keep focused,” said sophomore guard Jeremy Senglin. “We could have fallen apart, but we came together as a team and played our hardest to overcome that issue.”

After trailing through most of the second half, the Wildcats were able to bring themselves within one point of the Golden Eagles. The Eagles fought back and jumped ahead of the Wildcats to take a 60-54 lead with 59 seconds left. The Wildcats were able to over come the deficit and during a rebound off of a Weber State free throw, Senglin was able to repeat his game-winning shot against Nevada and seal the deal for the Wildcats with a three-point shot coming with two seconds left in the game.

“I didn’t even know I had given us the lead,” said Senglin of his second game-winning shot. “I went into the shot thinking I would tie the game, when I realized that we had the lead, I was surprised to say the least.”

Gittens led the team in scoring with 16 points overall. He had one of his best shooting performances of the season, shooting 5-for-8 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range.

“At the half, we worked to get focused as a team, one of our mottos we have had this season,” Gittens said. “We were able to work and stay together tonight, and ultimately we fought through it and came away with a win.”

The Wildcats now sit at 3-3 on the season and will continue play this week going on the road to University of Texas-Arlington (3-3) on Saturday. The Wildcats will then return home to face in-state opponent BYU on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $8 for the general public and admission is free for the student body.

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