Men?s impressive stats not enough to beat Weber

By By Joseph Simmons

By Joseph Simmons

Despite having a record-breaking night, the Runnin’ Utes were unable to come away with a victory.

Kim Tillie scored a career-high 20 points, and David Foster set a school record with 10 blocks, but in the end it wasn’t enough, as the Runnin’ Utes fell to Weber State 83-76 in Ogden on Wednesday.

After trailing for much of the game, the Wildcats put together a 9-0 run in the final minutes of the game.

“They’ve got a good team,” said head coach Jim Boylen. “Their back was against the wall. I thought they came out and fought.”

Utah jumped out to an early lead, thanks in part to Tillie scoring seven of the Utes’ first 15 points. Tillie also pulled down 10 rebounds for the Utes, giving him his first career double-double.

The Wildcats were unable to find rhythm offensively to start the game as the Utes built up a 14-point lead with just more than seven minutes remaining in the half. In those last minutes, however, Weber State outscored Utah 24-13, and the Utes’ lead was only three at halftime.

The Wildcats came out more aggressively on offense in the second half, but the Ute defensefought back.

“Our defense was awesome in the second half,” Boylen said.

Weber State was paced offensively by guard Damian Lillard, who scored a game-high 28 points, handed out seven assists and got a big contribution from forward Steve Panos, who scored 20 points.

Although the Utes were able to build small leads during the second half, the Wildcats kept it close, and the teams changed leads five times.

The Utes were plagued throughout the game by an inability to come up with loose balls.

“Our defense was good enough to win, but our transition defense has to improve and our getting those loose balls has to improve,” Boylen said. “We’ve got to get those loose balls.”

With fewer than five minutes to go, Utah held a four-point lead, but the Wildcats began their run, capped by a Lillard 3-pointer with 2 minutes 18 seconds remaining.

“You’ve got to make the plays down the stretch,” Boylen said. “They made the plays in the last four minutes, and that was the difference in the game.”

Lillard made key free throws in the final minutes, and the Utes missed crucial free throws while trying to make their comeback.

“We can’t miss free throws on the road,” Tillie said.

Despite the loss, Boylen said that he is happy with the way the team is improving.
“Our defense is getting better,” Boylen said. “Say what you want, there’s no shame in losing on the road.”

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