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Men’s Basketball Drops Senior Day Game in Overtime

NAU-WSU BOX (PDF)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Weber State overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 1:07 and won the game in overtime 80-78 over Northern Arizona to spoil the Senior Day game at the Walkup Skydome Saturday afternoon.

"Our five seniors left everything on the line," said Head Coach Jack Murphy. "I cannot say enough about them. Unfortunately, we did not finish the game off on senior day. But they played with great heart and determination."

NAU dropped to 11-18 overall and 8-10 in Big Sky Conference play.

The scene was set for the perfect ending for the senior day game against Weber State.  The Lumberjacks overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to lead by as many as seven in the second half and led 65-58 with 1:07 left.  But, the Wildcats closed the game on an 11-4 run aided by a three-pointer by Gelaun Wheelwright and six straight free throws to end regulation.

Leading by two at 69-67, NAU was called for an offensive foul with 15 seconds left and Weber State's Davion Berry was fouled. He hit both free throws to tie the game and the Lumberjack chance at the buzzer was off to force overtime. Berry led the Wildcats with 25 points.

Weber State's Scott Bamforth opened the extra period with a three-pointer and the Wildcats never trailed, leading by four on four occasions.

Gabe Rogers tied for game-high honors with 25 points in the game, scoring in double figures for the 14th consecutive game. He went 11-of-13 from the line as part of an 82 percent night at the line for the Lumberjacks.

"Gabe Rogers played against one of the best defensive teams in the country today," said Murphy. "They have been holding opponents to the least amount of three-point field goal attempts nationally. It is a statistic most coaches look at and their defense is so effective by Coach Rahe. Gabe comes out and scores 25 points to continue his hot streak. He is one of the best players not only in this conference but I believe in the country with the way he is playing."

Junior Max Jacobsen and freshman DeWayne Russell each scored 17 points off the bench.

Weber State (22-5, 16-2) opened the game with a 7-0 run and led by as many 12 points in the first half and by eight at the half. The Lumberjacks fought back into the game with a 11-0 run to take the lead 40-39 before Bamforth ended the Wildcat scoreless streak with a three-pointer.

"We saw some things in their press break that we could take advantage of and we did there a few times," said Murphy. "I have to credit my assistant Matt Dunn with an unbelievable scout both times against Weber. He saw a couple things from the bench that we put in and led to transition baskets for us."

With just over eight minutes left, Rogers hit back-to-back three-pointers to extend the NAU lead to seven points at 52-45. NAU held the lead the rest of the game until the Wildcats tied the game with 11 seconds left.

NAU finishes the regular season with two key games in the push for the Big Sky Tournament at Montana State and Montana starting Thursday in Bozeman against the Bobcats.

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