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Montana State men survive Weber State, advance to Big Sky championship game

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Posted at 11:52 PM, Mar 07, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — RaeQuan Battle’s alley-oop dunk on a lob from Darius Brown II with 1.6 seconds left lifted Montana State to a 60-58 double-overtime victory over Weber State in the semifinal round of the Big Sky Conference men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Idaho Central Arena.

Surviving a physical and low-scoring affair, the No. 2 seeded Bobcats (24-9) advanced to the tournament championship game where they will play ninth-seeded Northern Arizona on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. Weber State, the No. 3 seed, saw its record slip to 18-15.

PHOTOS: MONTANA STATE TOPS WEBER STATE, ADVANCES TO BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP

It’s the Bobcats' third straight trip to the Big Sky title game. MSU won the championship last season and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 26 years.

With the clock running out during the second overtime period, Brown penetrated the lane and lobbed the ball to Battle, who caught it in mid-air and dunked it with two hands to give MSU the lead. Weber State then attempted a shot with at the buzzer that was blocked by the Bobcats' Robert Ford.

Both teams struggled to find points. The Bobcats shot 34.5% from the floor while Weber State made just 34.6%. Battle finished with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-22 shooting. Great Osobor had 16 points before fouling out, while Jubrile Belo scored all 12 of his points from the foul line.

Dillon Jones led the Wildcats with 18 points but made just 5 of 24 shots and no 3-pointers. Steven Verplancken, who attempted the final shot of overtime for the Wildcats, had 14 points.