DICKSON SCORES 20, BUT MENâ€™S BASKETBALL FALLS AT WEBER STATE, 74-63
Junior forward John Dickson now has three games this year with at least 20 points
OGDEN, Utah -- Weber State’s Damian Lillard (22), Scott Bamforth (19) and Kyle Tresnak (18) combined for 59 of the team’s 74 points as the Wildcats defeated Sacramento State, 74-63, in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at the Dee Events Center.
In a game that Weber State never trailed, the Wildcats jumped out to a 15-5 lead at the 15:09 mark after a Tresnak layup. Weber State would never lead by anything less than six points the rest of the way.
The Wildcats held a 35-25 halftime advantage and pushed that lead to 13 points (40-27) on a three-point play from Lillard with 18:46 remaining. However, the Hornets, who stayed within striking distance the majority of the game despite never holding a lead, went on a 9-2 run after a pair of free throws from Konner Veteto cut the lead to six points (42-36) with 15:42 left in the contest.
Lillard immediately responded with a three-pointer that clanged off the rim, bounced high in the air, and fell in the hoop to put Weber back up nine points. Another three-pointer from Lillard later in the half (12:06) gave Weber State a double-digit advantage (55-43) it would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Sacramento State held a healthy 37-29 advantage in the rebounding department and outscored Weber State, 14-6, in second chance points. The Hornets shot 40.0 percent (22-55) from the field and buried six three-pointers while Weber State shot 43.6 percent (24-55) from the floor and knocked down seven three-pointers. The biggest difference statistically in the game came at the free throw line where the Wildcats converted on six more free throws (19-of-23, .826) than the Hornets (13-of-16, .813).
With the loss, Sacramento State (5-8, 0-2) dropped its third straight game as the team began the conference season on Thursday with a 73-64 loss at Northern Arizona. Weber State, which was selected first in both the Big Sky media and coaches preseason polls, improved to a league-best 10-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference. The Wildcats also improved to 32-4 all-time against the Hornets, including an 18-1 mark when playing in Ogden.
Sacramento State was led by forward John Dickson who finished with a team-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds. It was the third game this season with at least 20 points for Dickson and the junior is now averaging 16.8 points over his last six games. He was joined in double figures by swingmen Joe Eberhard (15 points, team-high tying seven rebounds) and Heath Hoffman (12 points, team-high tying seven rebounds). For Eberhard, it marked the eighth time this season the junior has posted at least 11 points and seven rebounds in a game.
Hoffman, who entered the contest tied for second in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, went 2-of-6 from distance today. His seven rebounds tied a career high.
No other Hornet scored more than five points as center Josh McCarver finished with five points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. Freshman point guard Dylan Garrity, who did not start for the first time all season, finished with four assists in 31 minutes. Garrity has now tallied at least four assists and led the team in that category in all 13 games this season. Shooting guard Jordan Estrada, who played 11 minutes, had to exit the game with an ankle injury with 11:25 left in the contest.
For Weber State, Lillard, who entered the game as the nation’s leading scorer, had 22 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes. Much of those points came from the free throw line where he was 10-for-11. Bamforth’s 19 points came on 5-of-14 shooting, including four three-pointers. Tresnak had 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field. No other Wildcat player scored more than four points.
Sacramento State will take six days off before returning to action on Saturday, Jan. 7, at home against Northern Colorado at 7:05 p.m. That begins a three-game homestand for the Hornets that will also include games against Eastern Washington (Jan. 12) and Idaho State (Jan. 14).