Valeika leads Weber St. to 76-67 win over Montana
OGDEN, Utah (AP)—Arturas Valeika and Dezmon Harris each scored 16 points for Weber State as the Wildcats defeated the Montana Grizzlies 76-67 on Thursday night.
Valeika also grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds to record his ninth double-double of the season for the Wildcats (13-12, 8-5 Big Sky Conference).
After trailing 39-20 at the half, the Grizzlies (12-14, 6-7 Big Sky) chipped away at Weber State’s lead and cut it to 61-52 on a dunk from Andrew Strait with 4:30 left in the game.
The closest Montana came after that was when Kyle Sharp converted a three-point play to pull within 74-68 with 32 seconds left. However, Harris made two free throws after that and the Grizzlies couldn’t score on their next possession.
Steve Panos finished with 13 for Weber State while Daviin Davis and Brody Van Brocklin each had 10.
The Wildcats used a 30-3 run in the first half, started by a 3-pointer from Van Brocklin, to take control of the game. Weber State ended the stretch with 19 consecutive points to lead 32-12 with 6:50 left in the first half.
Ceylon Elgin-Taylor led Montana with 14 points while Jordan Hasquet and Strait each had 13.
The Grizzlies started the game with a pair of free throws from Hasquet before the opening tip after the officials assessed a technical foul on the Wildcats for dunking during the warm-ups. Montana took a 9-2 lead before the Wildcats went on their big run.