MORAGA, Calif. — Damian Lillard scored 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead Weber State to a 69-61 victory over Jacksonville State in the opening round of the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic on Sunday night.
The Wildcats advanced to Monday's championship game against Saint Mary's, which beat San Francisco State earlier Sunday.
Kyle Bullinger added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Weber State, which improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 1985-86 season.
Brian Williams scored 16 points and made five assists for the Gamecocks (2-4), who fell behind by 21 late in the first half but gradually sliced into the deficit and trailed just 64-59 with a minute left. But a 3-point try by Williams went in and out, and the Wildcats held on.
Rinaldo Mafra added 14 points for Jacksonville State, but leading scorer Tarvin Gaines was held to nine points, six under his average.
Lillard, who played just nine games last season because of a foot injury, was 7 for 14 from the field and 6 for 7 from the free-throw line.
Mafra and second-leading scorer Stephen Hall each got into early foul trouble for the Gamecocks, as a flurry of fouls put Weber State in the bonus with 10:56 remaining before halftime. Forty-eight fouls were called during the game.
Kyle Tresnak made one of two free throws to give the Wildcats a 65-59 lead with 35.4 seconds left and Williams missed a reverse layup attempt with 24 seconds remaining. Weber State made four of six free throw attempts in the waning seconds to polish things off.