Ogden • Damian Lillard, so cool, so confident, surveyed the Dee Events Center on Thursday night with the eyes of a master.
In what might be Utah's last appearance in Ogden for a while, Lillard provided another in a continuing series of dominating performances as the Wildcats handed the struggling Utes a 80-51 whipping.
The Weber State guard fell just short of his Division I-leading average of 25.7 points. It didn't matter. The Wildcats didn't need them.
"My teammates look at me a lot of times when things are going right and wrong," Lillard said. "Tonight in the second half, [Utah] started to get rolling on us, getting high-percentage shots, I needed to be calm. â¦ Even when we had our run, were making shots and everything was going good, they saw I kept everything at an even keel, not too high even though we were up.
"My whole mindset was to make sure we kept our focus."
While the victory didn't completely wipe away the taste of nine losses to the Utes in the past 10 games, the largest blowout of Utah ever by a WSU team was one to be savored.
In its final preseason game, Weber State (8-3) dominated Utah (3-9) in every phase of basketball. Every good moment for the Utes was followed by three for the Wildcats.
Utah, which took an early 9-4 lead, could do nothing as Weber State roared to a 20-point halftime lead.
Weber State posts Kyle Tresnak and James Hajek ruled the middle, abusing Jason Washburn. Meanwhile, the Wildcats' three-guard lineup proved too quick and accurate for Utah.
"[Washburn] was giving me the left shoulder," said Hajek, a bulky 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman with an accurate baby hook. "Coach tells me to go out there and have confidence, so I went our there and put it up.
"It was a team win tonight."
Although Lillard scored a game-high 22 with five assists, the WSU balance is what ultimately did the Utes in. The Wildcats boasted three players with 10 points, including Hajek and Tresnak, and two others with nine and seven points.
"We want to keep pressure on them ... trying to keep them on their heels and attack the rim," Lillard said. "[We wanted to] let them know we were here for a fight and we were going to be physical and attack them."
Lillard typified WSU's aggressive nature Thursday, as the 6-foot-2 guard used his quick first step several times to penetrate the Ute defense and finish with a hard dunk.
"We had really good focus, good intensity. Our mindset was what we needed to have," WSU coach Randy Rahe said. "We wanted to be physical and tough. That's the way Utah has been playing, and we wanted to match that."
Weber State went on a 9-0 run midway through the first half, helped in part by a pair of 3s from freshman guard Gelaun Wheelwright. Then, with the Utes still hanging around with three minutes to play in the first half, the Wildcats outscored the Utes 9-1, punctuated by Lillard's 3 at the buzzer.
"He's not an overly emotional kid," Rahe said of Lillard. "He's got a lot of confidence, and I think that helps with the rest of our guys. They see him being level-headed, confident without being too crazy, and our guys take that from him."
R Weber State's 29-point margin of victory is its largest ever against Utah.
• The Wildcats shoot 54 percent from the floor, including 10 of 21 from the 3-point line.
• Weber holds Utah to 40 percent shooting, 32 percent in the first half.