Damian Lillard propels Weber State past Spartans with 41 points
Ogden • Weber State could not find a consistent offensive flow, and it failed to effectively prevent San Jose State's inside game.
The Wildcats, however, did have Damian Lillard. And on Saturday night in the Dee Events Center, that was enough.
Lillard, the nation's leading scorer, improved his season scoring average to 28.2 with a career-high 41 points, 17 of which came in extra time as Weber State hung on to defeat the Spartans 91-89 in double overtime.
It was the second-highest scoring total in school history. Stan Mayhew poured in 45 against Utah State in 1976.
"He bailed us out," WSU coach Randy Rahe said of Lillard. "He was unbelievable."
And Lillard did it with only 21 shots, becoming the first Weber State player to score 40 or more points since Harold "The Show" Arcenaux accomplished the feat against Montana State in 2000.
This night, Lillard was the show.
With Weber State trailing 77-75 and less than two minutes to play in the first overtime, Lillard scored on a driving floater. On the alert, Lillard stole the in-bounds pass, scored and was fouled, scoring five points in four seconds.
Lillard, who also pulled down eight of WSU's 46 rebounds, opened the second overtime with a 3.
"I don't know if we'll face a scorer that good the rest of the season," SJSU coach George Nessman said.
It was Lillard who swished a 3-point shot with 5.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the score 67-67. Not perfect, though Weber State's talented junior mistakenly dribbled out the shot clock to close out the first overtime.
Still, Lillard's effort in the two overtimes was nearly worth sweating through the error. Lillard's 3-point play with 10.7 seconds to play proved to be the game-winner.
"When your teammates are in your ear, it's great that they have trust and confidence in me," Lillard said. "I don't want the 41 points to overshadow the small things."
Small, important things, such as an offensive rebound and putback by Darin Mahoney in the second overtime.
The finish was a far cry from the way the nonconference game began. For a while, it looked as if the Spartans would run away and hide.
Weber State (5-1) missed eight of its first nine shots, and managed just a 31 shooting percentage in the first half. San Jose State (3-5) opened a 10-point lead before the Wildcats inched back into the contest.
The Wildcats, who lost their best rebounder, Kyle Bullinger, to a dislocated elbow in the first half, took a 48-44 lead at the 12:17 mark of the second half. The game went back and forth down the stretch.
SJSU guards James Kinney and Keith Shamburger combined for 44 points. Calvin Douglas finished with 18.
Kyle Tresnak had 13 and Scott Bamforth had 12 for Weber State, but 11 of Bamforth's points came in a short spurt early in the second half. Other than that, the hot-shooting guard suffered through one of his coldest nights, converting just one of nine 3-point shots.
R Weber State's Damian Lillard scores a career-high 41 points.
• The Wildcat guard, leading the nation in scoring, pours in 17 points in the two five-minute overtime periods.
• San Jose State jumps out to a 10-point lead early in the first half before Weber State comes back to take the game to double overtime.
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