PORTLAND, Ore. — Weber State's Damian Lillard scored 38 points and Scott Bamforth added 21 as the Wildcats rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit for an 88-81 Big Sky Conference victory at Portland State on Saturday night.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 12-3 overall and 4-0 in Big Sky play.
Portland State led by 15 points with 2:28 to play in the first half. That's when Lillard kept the Wildcats in the game, as he scored eight points in the final two minutes of the half, including a 40-foot turnaround jumper at the first-half buzzer that cut the Vikings' lead to 51-44 at halftime.
Lillard had 23 points in the first half and was 8-of-12 from the field, including 7-of-8 from 3-point land.
The Vikings led 66-57 with less than 13 minutes left when the Wildcats went on a 17-5 run over the next six minutes to take a 74-71 lead. Weber State sealed the victory by going 6-for-6 from the foul line in the closing minutes.
"It was total toughness by our team tonight," said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. "We hung in and kept fighting and never gave up. Portland State played a terrific game but we just kept fighting and playing tough and found a way to win. We had great leadership for our veteran players."
Lillard played all 40 minutes for the first time in his career and was 12-of-23 from the field with eight 3-pointers — one off the school's single-game record. The 38 points is the second-most of his career and marked the fifth time this season he has scored 30 or more points. The junior guard also added five assists and five rebounds.
Bamforth scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half.
"Portland State played really well but we played really hard in the second half and found a way to win," Bamforth said. "It starts with our defense and we really picked it up defensively in the second half and came together as a team."
UTAH VALLEY 77, SEATTLE U. 72: At Orem, Utah Valley got two big 3-pointers from Holton Hunsaker and clutch free throws from Isiah Williams and Alfonzo Hubbard down the stretch as it held off a surging Seattle squad Saturday night in the UCCU Center.
Williams scored a game-high 22 points, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range, while Keith Thompson added 17 and Hunsaker finished with 11. Ben Aird pulled down 12 rebounds to go along with eight points, and Hubbard added nine points off the bench for UVU (8-10).
"I thought we continued to compete and play through tough stretches," said Wolverines coach Dick Hunsaker. "At times we made it harder on ourselves than we should have. I was just real pleased and proud of the way our kids responded. That was a physical, talented team that we played."
NORTH DAKOTA STATE 72, S. UTAH 69 (OT): At Cedar City, sophomore guard Taylor Braun scored 29 points to pace North Dakota State past Southern Utah, which led by three points with less than 90 seconds remaining in overtime before Braun scored six straight points to lead the Bisons' charge.
Ray Jones Jr. scored 15 points to lead four starters in double figures for the Thunderbirds (7-9, 2-4 Summit League).
DIXIE STATE 73, NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR 67: At Belmont, Calif., Dixie State College junior guard McKay Massey poured in a career-high 21 points to propel Dixie State to a Pacific West Conference victory.
Massey hit 7-of 11 shots from the field, including three 3-pointers. Backcourt mate Maurice Cole added 12 points and didn't miss a shot from the field for the Red Storm (8-4, 3-1 PWC). Griffon Jones had nine points and 10 rebounds for Dixie State.
MONTANA WESTERN 69, WESTMINSTER 64: At Dillon, Mont., 10th-ranked Westminster College dropped a Frontier Conference decision to Montana Western.
The Griffins, who shot just 40 percent from the field, lost for the third straight time and are now 12-6 on the season. They also fall to 0-2 in conference action for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
Jake Orchard led the Griffins with 21 points.
NORTH IDAHO 74, SLCC 66: At Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Salt Lake Community College couldn't quite rally from a 23-point deficit in falling to North Idaho. With the loss, Salt Lake falls to 13-4 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Darian Cartharn led SLCC with 17 points.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company