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Junior Jeremy Senglin drives the ball down the court while passing a North Dakota defender during the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

The Wildcats are going to the Big Sky Championship March 12 after a nail-biting victory over the North Dakota Fighting Hawks Friday. Weber State won in overtime with a final score of 83-78.

It was a struggle for much of the first half for Weber State. The Wildcat led for only three minutes while North Dakota was winning for over 13 minutes.

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Sophomore Dusty Baker gets the ball taken from him during the game against North Dakota on March 11. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

One of the struggles for Weber State in the first half was a lack of opportunity to shoot from the free-throw line. Fouls against them did not translate into a single free throw attempt in the first half of the game while the Fighting Hawks made four of their six attempts from the free-throw line.

However, it took only 20 seconds into the second half for that to change as senior Joel Bolomboy made two quick free throw attempts. By the time the game was finished the Wildcats made 13 of 22 free throw attempts.

One of the keys in the victory came from junior guard Jeremy Senglin. At the end of the half, Senglin had already scored nine points, making one 3-pointer. Senglin erupted for the rest of the game and finished the leading scorer with 31 points and seven 3-point baskets. The biggest of those 3-pointers for Senglin was made with 11 seconds left in regulation, which tied the game, sending it into overtime.

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Sophomore Dusty Baker throws his towel in frustration as the Wildcats fall behind in the second half against North Dakota. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

“First thing I did was look at my teammates and coaches,” Senglin said after the game, “because I was just excited for them as much as I was myself.”

The other Wildcats to score in double digits were Bolomboy with 17 and McKay Cannon, who scored all 12 of his points from behind the 3-point line. Bolomboy was also back to his usual self, collecting nine rebounds in just the first half of the game and finishing with 19 rebounds overall.

The assist leaders for the game were Senglin and Cannon, who each dished out four assists — which were dramatic.

With four seconds left in the first half, a Senglin miss was converted into a layup by Bolomboy as the buzzer rang, tying the score at 30-30.

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Junior Richaud Gittens shoots a free-throw during the game against North Dakota. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

After about five minutes in the second half, a layup for Bolomboy pushed his scores into double digits, giving him his 25th double-double of the season.

“I’m just trying to show up every game, play my best and whatever happens happens,” Bolomboy said.

These 25 double-doubles are a single-season record in Weber State basketball history.

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Sophomore Dusty Baker shoots a basket in the second half against North Dakota on March 11. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

The Wildcats will play the University of Montana for the championship on March 12 at 5:45 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU. Coach Randy Rahe feels his team has what it takes to win the tournament.

“You’ve got to have guys who have some toughness and some fight,” Rahe said of his players, “and our guys have toughness, and they’ve got some fight.”

The Wildcats will enter into the NCAA tournament as the No. 15 seed and face the No. 2 seed, Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Scott Trade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

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