Photo by Mackenzie Kasper
OGDEN, Utah – The focus was on Weber State's national scoring leader Damian Lillard. He averaged 25.5 points per game this season entering the game, leading Division I in scoring. Unfortunately the rest of Big Sky leading Wildcats contributed led by a career-high 22 points by Kyle Tresnak in posting an 81-67 victory over Northern Arizona.
The Lumberjacks held Lillard to just 18 points, seven off his season average. It was just the fifth time this season he has been held under 20 points. He still had six points and six assists.
"We wanted to come out and take their two best players out of the game," said Dunn, who shared duties on Lillard with Gabe Rogers and Stallon Saldivar. "We wanted to make the other guys on their team beat us. We executed the game plan. They are a really good team. They executed their sets and did what they needed to do down the stretch."
Scott Bamforth, who averages 15.8 points, had just nine points. Tresnak scored inside all night, finishing with a career-high 22 points, including 16 in the first half. Four players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, who shot 56.9 percent as a team. Frank Otis added 12 points.
"I knew it was going to be tough," said Dunn. ""I am proud of our effort tonight."
Weber State improved to 15-3, 7-0 in Big Sky play, while the Lumberjacks dropped to 5-14, 1-6.
The Wildcats, who led at the half by nine points, scored the first five points of the second half and never were challenged in the second half. The Lumberjacks' comeback effort was hurt 41 percent shooting in the second half, preventing the team from cutting into the lead.
"We came out strong," said Ekanem. "We (still) have to learn to put two halves together. We play one good half and one bad half. Once we put two halves together, we will be great."
Tresnak led the Wildcats with 16 points in the first half, going 7-for-9 from the field. The Wildcats shot 63 percent from the field with just four turnovers.
"It was tough because I picked up two early fouls," said Ekanem. "I had to ease up a little bit and he took advantage of it big time. He is a good player and good finisher. It was a good battle."
Ekanem kept the Lumberjacks in the game with 10 first-half points. Bewernick added six off the bench. Rogers contributed seven as NAU shot 63 percent over the first 20 minutes. The Lumberjacks were just 2-of-6 at the line.
Lillard scored just nine points in the first half, shooting 4-for-8 from the field.
The Lumberjacks travel to face Idaho State in Holt Arena Saturday with a 7:05 tipoff. The game can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network on 105.1 The Big Talker and online via The Big Talker website. Fans can also catch the action via The Big Talker mobile app.