OGDEN -- When it's your night, it's your night. Nearly everything went right for Weber State on Saturday night as the Wildcats took apart North Dakota, 88-67, to win the 2014 Big Sky Tournament Championship.
Kyle Tresnak posted a career-high 27 points -- fittingly capping his night with an emphatic left-handed dunk -- to spur Weber State in the second half.
"He was EATIN'," said Davion Berry about Tresnak, exclaiming his excitement for his fellow senior loudly during the postgame celebration. North Dakota had no answer for Tresnak, who shot 11-of-15 from the field and scored 21 points in the second frame.
The night was Weber State's from the tip, as the Wildcats and their faithful of 6,294 felt a catharsis after four years of frustration. Starting with the "Anthony Johnson game" in 2010, Weber State had racked up tons of wins -- and produced NBA All-Star Damian Lillard -- with no NCAA tournament bids to show for it.
Tonight, Weber State made sure it was different.
Everything was going in for every Wildcat to start the game. Starting 10-of-11 from the field as a team, Weber got three-point makes from Berry, Jeremy Senglin, Jordan Richardson (who had two), and even forward Kyndahl Hill, and by the time the game reached the first half's under-12 media timeout, Weber had a 27-16 lead.
North Dakota gave every effort it needed to stay in the game. Star guard Troy Huff tallied nine points in the first half, and big man Alonzo Traylor was 4-of-4 from the field for eight of his own. The two keyed a short run for UND late in the half that cut the deficit to 41-34.
That was as close as it would get.
Davion Berry rose up at the first-half buzzer and buried a running three-point jumper, pulling Lillard -- in the front row right where Berry put up his shot -- out of his seat to give his long-time friend some dap. Weber went into the locker room having shot 14-of-24 from the field, 7-of-13 from deep, and 9-of-10 from the foul line.
Berry's buzzer-beater was the beginning of the series that would put North Dakota away.
In the first four minutes of the second half, Weber pounded the ball mercilessly into Tresnak. The senior scored three field goals, was 4-of-4 from the line, and converted two "and-one" opportunities to score the Wildcats' first 10 points of the half. Weber State kept its foot on the gas from there to secure the win.
Berry finished with 19 points and four assists, and Senglin added 12 points joining Tresnak as the three Wildcats in double figures.
Huff led UND with 17 points and seven rebounds, with Traylor adding 15 and Jaron Nash scoring 10. North Dakota finishes the season with a record of 17-16.
At 19-11, Weber State may sneak onto the 15-seed line with several one-bid conference leaders (Utah Valley, everyone ahead of Cal Poly in the Big West, and more) losing. Weber was a 15-seed in its last NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007, when the Wildcats were blasted by Weber alumnus Ben Howland and UCLA.