4/2/13 CIT Championship: East Carolina 77, Weber State 74
OGDEN, Utah -- The odds all season have been against East Carolina.
Nothing was different Tuesday night in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship.
The Pirates were playing on a court where opponent Weber State had won 14 straight. They were dealing with a raucous crowd of more than 10,500. And former Wildcats star Damian Lillard was in the house, staying over in Utah after his Portland Trail Blazers faced the Jazz on Monday night.
None of it mattered when Akeem Richmond hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Pirates to a 77-74 victory.
"We don't have anybody on our team that's better at shooting the basketball than Akeem Richmond," East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo said. "He has over 100 3s on the season, and makes tough ones in tough environments. He nailed it."
The win capped the best season in school history for the Pirates (23-12), who tied a school record for wins in a season set by the 1953-54 squad.
"We're a program that has not had a lot of tradition or a lot of history in basketball," said third-year coach Lebo, who has guided a team that hadn't had a winning season from 1998 to 2010. "It's been a fun, enjoyable season for us, something these kids will always remember."
Weber State can only think about the one that got away.
The Wildcats led 71-65 with 2:52 remaining but allowed East Carolina to close on a 12-3 run.
Weber State (30-7) had a chance to pad its late lead but had trouble at the line, making 9-of-19 free throws overall and just 3 of 8 in the final 2:52.
Miguel Paul led East Carolina with 23 points and Maurice Kemp added 20 for the Pirates.
Scott Bamfort led Weber State with 19 points, and Frank Otis and Davion Berry had 16 apiece.
The loss was Weber State's first at home since Dec. 15, a 10-point setback to Brigham Young. The Wildcats had won 34 of their last 35 at home.
"It hurts to know that we put ourselves in a position to win; we just didn't finish it," said senior Bamforth, who eclipsed Lillard as Weber State's 3-point king this season. "We had such great support from our fans tonight and it's disappointing we couldn't win it for all the people that have supported us. We just came up a little short."
Richmond, who scored only six points on the night, found nothing but net on his shot off a pass from Paul.
Overall, East Carolina hit 6 of 16 3s but shot 59 percent from the field. The Pirates also hit 11 of 14 free throws, ultimately the difference in the game.
"It's amazing," Richmond said of hitting the winner. "It wouldn't have happened without Miguel. My guy had left me because Miguel had been torching them all night in the paint. They had to do something -had to guard him or leave me and they decided to leave me. I wasn't really shooting the ball as well. I guess they decided I wasn't going to make it."
The Wildcats seemingly took charge after a layup by Berry, Kyle Tresnak's follow dunk and another dunk by Tresnak gave Weber State a 71-65 edge.
But Kemp started the comeback with a 3-pointer, Paul sank two free throws and Robert Sampson got the basket, not goaltending call, to tie it at 72 with 1:19 left.
Sampson's dunk with 38 seconds remaining put East Carolina up 74-73. Berry would make 1 of 2 free throws with 17.3 seconds left to tie it at 74. That was plenty of time for the Pirates to work the ball to Richmond.
Afterward, Richmond acknowledged sneaking peeks at Lillard during the game and wanted to talk with the NBA rookie of the year candidate afterward.
Instead, it was time to cut down the nets.
The Pirates had never won a Division I postseason game prior to this season. They sweated out a 66-65 win in the first round against Savannah State before cruising to double-digit victories over Rider (75-54), Loyola-Maryland (70-58) and Evansville (81-58).
They figured this one would be tough.
"The odds were against us but we had a lot of support back home," Richmond said. "And we worked for it, changed a lot of things. We had to bring this back to Greenville."
East Carolina (22-12) at Weber State (30-6), Tuesday night at 6:00 pm
3/30/13 CIT Semifinal: Weber State 59, Northern Iowa 56
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Davion Berry scored 15 points, Scott Bamforth added 14 and Weber State beat Northern Iowa 59-56 to reach the finals of the CollegeInsider.com tournament Saturday night.
Bamforth shot 4 of 7 from the 3-point line for the Wildcats (30-6), who will face East Carolina in the CIT title game Tuesday night.
The Wildcats started the game on a 14-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Bamforth.
The Panthers opened the second half on a 13-3 run, but went 0 for 8 from the 3-point line to close the game. Berry recorded four straight points with just over 4 minutes left to give the Wildcats the lead for good.
Seth Tuttle had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Northern Iowa (22-14), which shot just 17.6 percent from beyond the arc.
3/27/13 WSU to 29 wins and heading to the semifinal @ Northern Iowa! Weber State 83, Oral Roberts 74 Box Score | CIT Stats Semifinals
Evansville (21-14) at East Carolina (21-12), Saturday 3:00 pm
Weber State (29-6) at Northern Iowa (21-14), Saturday 6:00 pm
3/20/13 Weber State vs. Cal Poly Postgame Press Conference
3/20/13 WSU's 27th win ties school record for most wins Weber State 85, Cal Poly 43
3/20/13 CIT 1st Rd: Cal Poly at Weber State, tonight at 7 pm CIT Scoreboard | Radio | Watch Online (free) | WSU Game Notes | Twitter | Forum
Canisius 69, Elon 53
Kent State 73, Fairfield 71
Bradley 75, Green Bay 69
Tulane 84, South Alabama 73
Illinois-Chicago 80, Chicago State 69
Northern Iowa 77, North Dakota 66
Oral Roberts 84, UT Arlington 76
Weber State 85, Cal Poly 43
UC Irvine 80, High Point 71
Air Force 69, Hawaii 65
3/19/13 What happens if Weber beats Cal Poly?
All CIT 1st round games will be played Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday's games are all ready over. The deck will get reshuffled on Thursday since there is no official bracket to this 32 team field. What we do know is the 2nd round games will be played March 22-24. The quarterfinals will be on March 26-27, semifinals March 29-30 and the championship on April 2. The title game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
If Weber is to beat Cal Poly then Wildcat fans can expect to see Weber play a 2nd round game most likely on Friday or Saturday if it's in Ogden. Would the game be in Ogden or elsewhere? That is TBD. Who would Weber play? Since geography is a very important factor look to for a potential opponent from the Air Force @ Hawaii game or UC Irvine if they beat High Point. Last year WSU went into the CIT Tournament with best record and best RPI and ended up on the road in the 2nd round at Loyola Marymount after beating Utah Valley at home. This year WSU has the best record once again but its RPI is 4th best of the 32 teams.
Eastern Kentucky 69, Gardner Webb 62; Attendance: 2,650
East Carolina 66, Savannah State 65; Attendance: 2,053
Rider 63, Hartford 54; Attendance: 871
Youngstown State 99, Oakland 87; Attendance: 3,056
Loyola MD 70, Boston University 63; Attendance: 984
Evansville 84, Tennessee State 72; Attendance: 2,324
3/19/13 Weber State's all-time post season games played
Weber State's CIT game at the Dee on Wednesday night against Cal Poly will be its 29th all-time post season tournament game. The 'Cats have played in 21 NCAA Tourney games between 14 appearances, 4 NIT games, 1 CBI game and 2 CIT games.
3/17/13 Weber State to host Cal Poly in CIT
Weber State (26-6) will host Cal Poly (18-13) in the 1st round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament Wednesday night at 7:00 pm in the Dee Events Center. This is almost a conference game since Cal Poly is an associate Big Sky member. The Mustangs joined the Big Sky as a football only member in July of 2012. Surprisingly CP is the only Big West member WSU has never met on the hardwood.
The only team in the Big West WSU has faced this season was UC Irvine in Ogden. WSU won the game 65-51. UCI was one of the only two teams in the conference to get to the 20 win mark. Pacific won 22 games.
CP finished 3rd in the Big West with a 12-6 record and lost in the conference semifinal to Pacific 55-53. In the nonconference games CP went 5-6 including wins over #11 UCLA 70-68 and a 64-53 win over Northern Colorado.
Cal Poly has an RPI of 165 and is ranked 221st in ppg (65.5), 295th rebounds per game (31.6), 102nd in assists per game (13.9) and 201st field goal % (.428). Weber State's RPI is 92 and the 'Cats are ranked 22nd in ppg (75.7), 107th rebounds per game (36.1), 118th assists per game (13.6) and 2nd in field goal % (.505). WSU is #2 in the nation for 3-point field goal % (.419) and CP is 33rd (.378).
This will be Weber State's 5th consecutive post season appearance and second in-a-row in the CIT tournament. In 2009 & 2010 WSU competed in the NIT and also the CBI in 2011. This is CP's first ever post season appearance in it's 19-year history of Division I basketball.
WSU vs Big West: 34-23
Cal State Northridge 13-8
Cal State Fullerton 4-1
UC Irvine 3-0
Long Beach State 3-8
UC Davis 2-0
UC Santa Barbara 2-2
UC Riverside 1-1
Cal Poly 0-0
Tickets for the Cal Poly game go on sale Monday morning at the Dee Events Center Ticket Office. Tickets will be $10 for adults, $5 for kids/seniors and $5 for WSU students. Season ticket holders can reserve their seats until 6:00 pm on Monday night.
What is the CIT?
Founded in 2009 as a 16-team competition, the CollegeInsider.com Tournament then expanded to 24 teams the following season before reaching the current 32-team format since 2011. CIT selected teams are mid-major programs not selected for the NCAA Tournament or NIT. Teams selected for the CIT must have a winning record. Further criteria for selection includes strength of schedule, strength of conference and record during the final 10 games of season.
CIT 32 team field
There is no official bracket as after each round there is a new seeding. Also, geography is very important, much like the FCS football playoffs. First round games: Youngstown St. vs Oakland | UIC vs Chicago State | Bradley vs Green Bay | Loyola (MD) vs Boston | Hartford vs Rider | Tulane vs South Alabama | Kent State vs Fairfield | Evansville vs Tennessee St. | Canisius vs Elon | Gardner Webb vs Eastern Kentucky | East Carolina vs Savannah State | High Point vs UC Irvine | Weber State vs Cal Poly | Texas-Arlington vs Oral Roberts | Hawaii vs Air Force | Northern Iowa vs North Dakota.
3/17/13 What next for Weber State?
Montana won the regular season Big Sky title and got to host the conference tournament. Since they won the conf tourney they get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Had they lost they would have received an auto bid to the NIT. The Big Sky second place has no auto bids in place.
Weber State will have to wait it out to see where they will play and most likely will be on Tuesday night somewhere, maybe at home. The NCAA Tournament selection show will be at 4:00 pm on CBS. After the bracket is announced shortly there after Weber State Athletics will announce who/where Weber is playing. The NIT, CIT and CBI will have their announcements following the NCAA selection show.
3/17/13 Montana 67, Weber St. 64
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.
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.
3/15/13 WSU to the Big Sky Championship game! 13 straight WSU wins! Weber State 76, North Dakota 74
MISSOULA, Mont. -- Davion Berry scored 25 points and Kyle Tresnak's basket with 19 seconds left broke a late tie and Weber State defeated North Dakota 76-74 Friday in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference tournament.
The Wildcats (26-5), the No. 2 seed, rallied from a 12-point deficit early in the second half. They will play the winner of the Montana-Northern Colorado game in Saturday's final.
Third seed North Dakota(16-16) led 74-71 after Wilmer's tip-in with 1:31 to play. But Weber State scored the last five points, with Scott Bamforth hitting a tying 3-pointer with 1:08 to play, and Tresnak put the Wildcats ahead with a jumper.
Joel Bolomboy scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half for the Wildcats. Bamforth also finished with 13 points.
Troy Huff led North Dakota with 22 points. Jamal Webb scored 13 and Wilmer and Brandon Brekke had 11 points apiece.
3/14/13 12th straight Weber win! WSU now 16-3 in 1st round BSCT games Weber State 84, NAU 58
MISSOULA, Mont. -- Frank Otis scored 16 points and Weber State beat Northern Arizona 84-58 Thursday in a Big Sky Conference quarterfinals game.
Otis was 7 of 10 from the field for the game and had six rebounds for the No. 2 seed. Davion Berry added 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Kyle Tresnak had 12 points and six rebounds, and Scott Bamforth had 12 points.
Weber State (25-5) led 36-21 at halftime. The Wildcats shot 53.6 percent from the field for the game, while Northern Arizona shot 37 percent. Weber State outrebounded seventh-seeded Northern Arizona 36-27. Weber State made 19 of 23 free throws (82.6 percent).
DeWayne Russell led Northern Arizona (11-21) with 21 points. Gabe Rogers added 12. Gaellan Bewernick led with eight rebounds.
In the regular season, Weber State swept the Lumberjacks. Weber State has won its last 12 games.
3/11/13 The Big Sky Awards - 4 WSU players honored Who got recognized, who got dis'd?
It's that time of year for the annual Big Sky Conference awards for men's basketball. While we don't actually know if anyone was dis'd we can conclude that there is a difference between wants/expectations and reality of who gets the votes in the Big Sky. Every teams' fans feel its own team deserves more accolades than it usually receives. Fans of the purple cladded nature generally feel entitled to even more due to the 13+ wins per year in the Big Sky regular season during the Rahe Era.
From 1963 (the inaugural year of the Big Sky) until 1990, the conference named a 1st & 2nd team. From 1991 to 2006 they only named a 1st team. In 2007 the 2nd team award was re-instated as well as adding the honorable mention list. The panel of voters are the 11 league head coaches.
Kareem Jamar, Jr, Montana
Will Cherry, Sr, Montana Scott Bamforth, Sr, Weber State Davion Berry, Jr, Weber State
Derrick Barden, Jr, Northern Colorado
Troy Huff, Jr, North Dakota
Gabe Rogers, Sr, Northern Arizona
Mathias Ward, Sr, Montana Kyle Tresnak, Jr, Weber State
Aaron Anderson, Jr, North Dakota
Damon Heuir, Sr, Southern Utah
Jackson Stevenett, Sr, Southern Utah
Tate Unruh, Jr, Northern Colorado
Jordan Gregory, So, Montana Frank Otis, Sr, Weber State
Venky Jois, Fr, Eastern Washington
Chris Hansen, So, Idaho State
Flavien Davis, Jr, Montana State
Christian Moon, Sr, Montana State
Stallon Saldivar, Sr, Northern Arizona
Aaron Moore, Jr, Portland State
John Dickson, Sr, Sacramento State
Dylan Garrity, So, Sacramento State
Most Valuable Player - Kareem Jamar, UM Newcomer of the Year - Davion Berry, Weber State
Freshman of the Year - Venky Jois, EWU
Defensive Player of the Year - Will Cherry, UM
All-Time Big Sky 1st Team Players
Weber State 76
Idaho State 44
Montana State 39
Northern Arizona 30
Eastern Washington 25
Portland State 21
Sacramento State 5
Northern Colorado 4
North Dakota 1
Southern Utah 0
All-Time Big Sky 2nd Team Players
Weber State 28
Idaho State 24
Montana State 23
Northern Arizona 16
Portland State 5
Eastern Washington 4
Northern Colorado 3
Southern Utah 2
North Dakota 1
Sacramento State 0
Possible snubs as designated by WeberHoops were Jordan Richardson and Joel Bolomboy. While young "Bolom-boom" is only a 19 year old true freshman; 21 year old junior J-Rich isn't getting any younger. Bolomboy has more blocks and twice as many rebounds as the 2009 Big Sky Defensive POTY and he is also one of the best rebounders per minutes played in the nation. Richardson's lockdown defense is not an attribute to overlook as well he is close to 50% shooting on the season from 3-point range. The Big Sky coaches will have no choice but to recognize the talents of these two talented Wildcats next season.
While we are at it let's mention Otis and Tresnak being possible snubs that should have had higher selections. WeberHoops can only hope while the team celebrates these awards we also want the team to feel somewhat insulted and remember that come tourney time!