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Weber State Falls in OT at Idaho State

The Wildcats have been dominant in the Big Sky this season and the Bengals, not so much. But, the road is rough even for the kings of the conference.

The Bengals' Chris Hansen
The Bengals' Chris Hansen
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Sixteen ties, eighteen lead changes and five extra minutes of good basketball.

Idaho State made it to the free throw line just 15 seconds into the game. Chris Hansen missed a lay-up but was fouled trying to put it back up. He knocked down both free throws to give the home team the first lead of the game.

It wasn't ever a large lead, but the Bengals led for the greater part of the half and that was pretty surprising. Over the first four minutes Idaho State repeatedly pushed the lead to four while Weber State tried and failed to tie things up.

Over the course of three minutes, Weber State relied entirely on Jeremy Senglin, who scored eight points to bring the teams even. Finally, with nearly seven minutes played, the team atop the Big Sky took its first lead of the game. That lead came off a Kyndahl Hill free throw.

Idaho State, ninth in the eleven team Big Sky, promptly reclaimed the lead. The Bengals didn't trail for much of the rest of the half. If Idaho State wasn't in the lead, it was likely a tie ball game. There were six ties in the first half. Five of which came during the middle of the half.

During that back and forth frenzy mid-half, both teams played exceptionally clean basketball. It was so clean that there was no dead-ball for the under-12 media timeout until the 8:29 mark. The under-8 media timeout came just thirty seconds later.

Despite almost back-to-back breathers, the frenzy wore out both teams and scoring slowed dramatically over the final seven minutes.

Idaho State didn't score after a Chris Hansen jumper with 3:52 left. Weber State almost didn't score after a Jeremy Senglin three pointer at the 3:02 mark, until he hit a buzzer-beating three to give the Wildcats a one point lead at the break.

Idaho State came out of the locker rooms playing serious defense. By the first media timeout the Wildcats had turned the ball over twice. The Wildcats scored only two points, Joel Bolomboy free throws, during that span.

The Bengals' defense held and a balanced scoring attack pushed the Idaho State lead to nine, 37-56, at the 14:14 mark. That lead was the largest of the game for either team.

Davion Berry, who had just four points in the first half, came alive and eliminated the Bengals' lead.

Ten minutes after the Bengals took their nine point lead, the Wildcats held their largest lead of the game. A pair of Jeremy Senglin free throws gave Weber State a three point advantage. Weber State extended the lead to as much as four and did not allow Idaho State to pull ahead over the final minutes of the second half.

Idaho State did manage to tie the game three times after the final media timeout. Most importantly, that third tie came off two Andre Hatchett free throws. Which, as it would turn out, were the last points scored in regulation.

Chris Hansen made what at the time appeared to be a devastating turnover down two with 94 seconds left, more than made up for it by scoring all eight of the Bengals' points in overtime.

He hit a jumper on the first possession of OT to give the Bengals a two point lead. That was followed by a miniature, 4-0, Weber State run. Hansen had the answer. On back-to-back Bengals possessions he drained contested threes. The second of those threes came with 1:29 left to play and gave his team a three point lead.

On the final possession of the game, with less than ten seconds to play, Davion Berry attempted to tie the game from downtown. His shot missed and the rebound fell to teammate Joel Bolomboy, who missed a two point shot at the buzzer, not that it would have mattered.

Weber State 75, Idaho State 78. The Wildcats now hold just a two game lead on second place Northern Colorado. With four of their final six games on the road, Weber State is no longer sitting so comfortably atop the conference. Idaho State, on the other hand, moves to .500 in conference play. That puts the Bengals in a five way tie for fifth place.