OGDEN, Utah -- Weber State used a late run to close out a tight contest with North Dakota, registering an 84-76 victory at the Dee Events Center Thursday in Big Sky play.
The Wildcats (16-7; 3-9 BSC) won their sixth-straight overall and snapped a four-game losing streak to the Fighting Hawks (8-16; 3-9 BSC), while improving to 11-1 at home this season.
"I was impressed with our toughness again," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "We've done that in back-to-back games against two pretty good teams, but we have to start making some more open shots if we are going to get the results we want against teams like Weber State."
Senior Dale Jones paced four Fighting Hawks in double figures with 20 points and went 7-for-8 from the field, including a 5-for-6 effort from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, the rest of his teammates went just 4-for-17 from distance.
Juniors Geno Crandall and Conner Avants added 14 points for the visitors, who had squared things up at 69-69 with just under three minutes to play after answering an 8-0 run by the Wildcats.
Crandall had all of his points in the second half after being relegated to the bench for most of the first half with two fouls.
Zach Braxton led all scorers with 22 points and was one of four Wildcats to post double figures in the contest. Jerrick Harding, who came in as the league's top scorer in Big Sky action, added 21 and Brekkott Chapman chipped in with 19.
It was Chapman's 3-point play after Billy Brown had tied the game that gave the Wildcats the lead for good. Ryan Richardson capped a quick 5-0 run that UND could never recover from and Dusty Baker buried a big 3-pointer to make it a 77-71 contest with 55 ticks to play.
The Big Sky's best free-throw shooting team sealed the victory at the charity stripe, but going 7-for-10 in the closing minute.
Both teams shot much better from the floor after halftime with Weber State shooting 55 percent and UND shooting 53 percent after both teams hit less than half of their shots before the break.
Midway through the first half, UND reeled off a 10-2 run that helped provide the first lead of the game for the Fighting Hawks.
Jones had half of those points and finished the half with 14 points on a 5-of-5 shooting from the floor.
The visitors would push their advantage to 26-21 at the 4:48 mark, but Weber State retook the lead going into the break at 31-29 after Chapman buried a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Jones and Avants combined to go 9-for-11 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, while the rest of the Fighting Hawks were just 2-for-19. Jones went 4-for-4 from deep and Avants added nine points to pace the offense.
Baker matched Weber State's largest lead at 46-42 with a 3-pointer to give him his first points of the game, but the Fighting Hawks would pull even once again at 53-53 to even things up for the ninth time in the contest.
Weber State broke the tie with an 8-0 run, giving the home team its largest lead of the game and the margin would hover around that until Crandall got hot for the Fighting Hawks.
After being held in check most of the game, Crandall buried a pair of corner 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions and Billy Brown made two free throws to cap an 8-0 run that evened things at 69-69.
The last of eight lead changes in the contest would go in favor of the Wildcats thanks to Chapman, who finished with a double-double by adding 12 rebounds.
The Wildcats held a 36-29 edge on the glass and finished 19-for-25 from the foul stripe, while UND went 13-for-18, but all five of those misses came in the second half.
UND will return to action at Idaho State on Saturday with an 8 p.m. tip-off against the Bengals.
-- UND --