Dec. 22, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Weber State rallied from a 23-3 deficit and held Morehead State without a field for over nine a half minutes in the second half as the Wildcats rallied for a 66-64 win Tuesday in the Basketball Travelers Invitational sponsored by Gossner Foods, hosted by Utah State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
WSU improved to 2-0 in the Invitational and 7-5 overall, winning six of its last seven. MSU dropped to 0-2 in Invitational action and 4-6 overall, losing three of its last five. Tuesday was the first-ever meeting between the Wildcats and Eagles.
Sophomore guard Damian Lillard led WSU with a game-high 22 points, netting 13 in the second half. Senior guard Nick Hansen and junior guard Lindsey Hughey tallied 13 points each, both hitting three three-pointers.
Morehead State was led by senior forward Maze Stallworth's first double-double of the season with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, as the Eagles dominated the rebounds to the tune of 46-29, snaring 23 offensive boards which led to a 25-9 second-chance scoring advantage. Junior forward Kenneth Faried came off the bench to score 16 points, including 11 in the first half, while junior guard Demonte Harper netted 14 points.
The Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game and expanded their lead to 23-3 at the 12:02 mark after a Faried dunk and a Stallworth layup. MSU's advantage was again 20 at 33-31 with 6:52 on the clock after a three-pointer by sophomore Terrance Hill before the Wildcats clawed back, cutting the gap to eight twice before going into halftime down 39-28 after Stallworth had a tip-in at the buzzer. MSU had a 26-7 rebounding advantage at the half.
Weber State opened the second half with a 12-3 run to close to 42-40 with 13:09 to go. MSU temporarily righted the ship with a three-pointer by Stallworth from the left corner, but the Wildcats scratched back to take their first lead of the night at 50-49 at the 5:28 mark on a layup from sophomore forward Kyle Bullinger.
From there on out, there were three ties and the lead exchanged hands four times, including at the 1:14 mark to on a spinning jumper by Harper, MSU's first field goal since 10:51 was on the clock, giving the Eagles a 57-56 advantage. Lillard quickly regained the lead for Weber State on a runner with 51 seconds, and the Wildcats hung on for the win, sustaining a three-pointer from Harper with 9.3 seconds left to pull MSU to 64-62.
Hansen hit a pair of free throws with 8.8 ticks to play, capping Weber State's 8-of-8 free throw shooting in the final 33.9 seconds. Stallworth's three-point attempt with two seconds to go was off the mark and Faried had a putback at the buzzer for the final points.
After shooting 40.6 percent (13-of-32) in the first half, MSU hit just 28.0 percent (7-of-25) in the second half for a final field goal percentage of 35.1 (20-of-57), but making 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from three-point range. The Eagles also made 72.0 percent (18-of-25) of the free throws.
Weber State made 18-of-45 (40.0 percent) from the field, netting 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) behind the arc and 23-of-30 (76.7 percent) at the charity stripe.
Wednesday's final day of action of the Basketball Travelers Invitational sponsored by Gossner Foods, pits Morehead State against Cal State Fullerton at 5:30 p.m. (MT), while Weber State battles in-state foe and host Utah State at 8:05 p.m. (MT).
For Basketball Travelers Invitational sponsored by Gossner Foods ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
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