Throughout January, Weber State has lost a few heartbreaking games against Big Sky foes, mainly on their home floor. On Saturday night in the Dee Events Center against the Montana Grizzlies, the ‘Cats finally got their way; Jerrick Harding became the third player in program history to surpass 2,000 career points.
In a thrilling battle with the Grizz that needed an extra period to be settled, the Wildcats shined bright and picked up an upset win. The ‘Cats got big games from the senior guard tandem of Jerrick Harding and Cody John while junior forward Michal Kozak also played a big part in the victory.
While Harding scored 32, John scored 19 and Kozak scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. One of the biggest reasons the Wildcats won this game was because of Pittsburgh transfer Khame Davis. Davis hit a big three-point basket and came up with clutch turnovers to help guide WSU to the finish line.
“He’s not a guy that is going to wow you, but he does all the little things to make plays to help you win a game. That’s just who he is,” said Head Coach Randy Rahe about Davis’ performance.
On the other end of the floor, Montana saw big performances too but none bigger than their 6’5″ senior guard from Oakland, Sayeed Pridgett. Pridgett scored 33 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Throughout the night it looked like if Montana was going to win, Pridgett was going to be the one to seal it. Weber State did not give him that chance.
The game tipped off at 7 p.m., and it was all Grizz from the jump as they controlled the first half. WSU battled but could not surpass UM on the scoreboard. At the half, Montana led 43-36.
In the second half, the Wildcats found their groove after Davis rocked the rim while driving down the baseline. WSU took their first lead with 17 minutes left after a three-pointer from Harding. From there, the battle between rivals was back and forth.
The race to the end was hectic, and the Wildcats had to overcome an eight-point deficit with four minutes left. With just over a minute left in the game, Montana held a one-point lead after back-to-back three’s from Kozak and Davis.
The Wildcats found themselves down by two points with 15 seconds left, and Jerrick Harding did what Jerrick Harding does as he finished a layup over Grizzly defenders to tie the game and force overtime.
In the overtime period, the foes exchanged baskets, and Harding eventually sunk two free throws to give the Wildcats an 81-80 lead with 1:55 left. With 24 seconds left, the score remained the same until Kozak sank two free throws.
Eventually, John and Jerrick would get chances at the free-throw line and also went 2-2 to seal the Wildcats win over Montana. The Wildcats won 87-85 after a half-court heave went in as time expired.
The Wildcats record now improves to 7-13 and 3-6 in conference play. They look to use this momentum and make a run as the Big Sky tournament in Boise awaits in March.
The Wildcats will battle Southern Utah in Cedar City on Thursday and then travel to Northern Colorado to face off against the Bears.