Weber State’s Lillard lights up Eagles
OGDEN, Utah – NCAA scoring leader Damian Lillard scored 22 points and Bryon Fulton added a season-high 16 points off the bench as Weber State held off Eastern Washington for an 84-75 Big Sky Conference basketball win Saturday, its fourth straight.
Scott Bamforth added 13 and Kyle Bullinger had 10 for the Wildcats (20-4, 12-1 Big Sky), who led the whole way but could never relax as the Eagles (11-14, 5-7) hung around.
Cliff Colimon scored all 20 of his points after halftime and Parker Kelly added a season-high 17 points off the bench for EWU, which dropped its second conference contest in a row.
Lillard was 12 for 12 from the line despite going 4 of 13 from the field. Weber State, the top free-throw shooting team in the country, was 32 of 35 from the line and outrebounded Eastern Washington 44-35.
“What I told our team is that I wanted to be proud of them after the game, and I am proud of them,” said Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “In the second half we held them to 27 percent shooting from the field and we really played tough. If we keep getting that kind of effort the rest of the season we’re going to be all right.
“It’s hard to beat any team when they make 91 percent of their free throws and get that many of them.”
The Eagles held Weber State to 27 percent shooting from the field in the second half, but the Wildcats survived by hitting 27 of 29 tries from the line.
“We were getting great shots, we just had to put the ball in the basket,” said Hayford of the sluggish beginning. “It was a long game and we were going to make those shots. The last 36 minutes we played toe-to-toe with the best team in the league in their gym.”
Weber, tied for first with Montana, swept their two games with EWU this season, winning in Cheney 76-69 on Jan. 5.
Despite the loss EWU remains in sixth place in the Big Sky.