OGDEN, Utah – Anthony Johnson scored 19 points and Will Cherry scored 10, including a jumper with 24 seconds left, as Montana scored the final six points in a 68-63 win over Northern Colorado on Tuesday night in the Big Sky Conference tournament semifinals.
The Grizzlies (21-9) advanced to the Big Sky championship game for the first time since winning it in 2006. They’ll meet Weber State at 8 tonight for a berth to the NCAA tournament.
Will Figures led the Bears (24-7) with 23 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers during a 17-3 run that tied the game at 60 with less than 4 minutes to play.
The Grizzlies stopped Figures with 1 minute left when he tried to drive through traffic in the lane with Montana up 64-63. Figures’ layup attempt missed and there was no foul called despite protests from the Bears’ bench.
Vassy Banny grabbed the rebound and the Grizzlies chose to run down the clock. Cherry dribbled away the final seconds on the shot clock before pulling up for a jumper that just beat the buzzer and put Montana up 66-63 with 24 seconds left.
Weber State 69, Portland State 60: Damian Lillard had 23 points, Franklin Session added 13 points and eight rebounds and the top-seeded Wildcats (20-9) held off the Vikings (13-19) in the second semifinal.
The Wildcats won despite one of their worst shooting nights of the season, going 20 for 60 from the floor. The Wildcats also struggled from the foul line and had a difficult time pulling away from the pesky Vikings.
Dominic Waters had 19 points to lead the Vikings.
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