CHENEY, Wash. -- Weber State coach Randy Rahe took a swift glance at the numbers following his club's 76-69 dispatching of Eastern Washington on Thursday night and winced.
He could have easily pointed to a grip of statistical chasms in the Wildcats' favor in the Big Sky Conference tilt at Reed Gymnasium, but pointed to the most glaring disparity.
An aberrant 22 turnovers to Eastern's nine.
"Twenty-two is way too many," Rahe said. "And very uncharacteristic of this team."
WSU did just about everything else right, though.
The league-leading Wildcats, who improved to 3-0 in BSC play, compensated for their giving ways with a 43.8-percent clip from the field, 44-31 rebounding margin and a 55-percent (11-for-20) showing from 3-point range.
Per usual, junior Damian Lillard was the benefactor. The nation's leading scorer and Bob Cousy Award finalist pumped in a game-high 30 points. His backcourt counterpart, Scott Bamforth, added 10 as the two combined to go 8-for-12 from deep.
The two gunners were particularly key in the second half when the two clubs exchanged the lead five times, but, for nearly all of the first stanza, a rout was seemingly in the works.
WSU (11-3, 3-0) jumped out to a 33-17 lead, going right at Eastern's man defense. The Eagles doubled Lillard from the onset but the junior stalwart was able to put 14 of his lofty total in the game's first 10 minutes.
But, in that stretch, the Wildcats coughed up eight turnovers but atoned by scoring on most possessions and a savory showing from the line (23-for-28).
When the shots weren't going down, the Eagles were able to chip away at the deficit.
Back-to-back 3s by Parker Kelly and Collin Chiverton provided a spark for Eastern, which took advantage of the Wildcats' scoring swoon by putting on a sizable run of its own.
Chiverton -- the fifth-leading scorer in the BSC -- scored eight of his 18 points in the last five minutes to put the Eagles within three at intermission.
"We knew they were going to run and they did that. We just found a way to stay together."
Eastern's momentum wouldn't fizzle, though, as the Eagles (7-8, 1-2) were able to grab a few short-lived leads, most of which were answered by Bamforth.
Bamforth scored connected on three 3-pointers in the back-and-fourth stages of the game, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the latter period.
"We knew that this was a two-stroke engine Weber had," EWU coach Jim Hayford said. "Both guys exceeded their averages and we didn't do what we needed to do to stop them. We did a great job on Lillard, but he ended up with 30 points. Give him credit. He and Bamforth are tough to guard."
It was forward Byron Fulton's aptitude from long range that was especially key, however.
When the 6-foot-6 brute connected from deep at the 9:39 mark, the Wildcats took a 58-56 lead that wouldn't relinquish. He added what looked to be a dagger at the 2:30 mark that gave WSU a 9-point cushion.
"Eastern's gotten a lot better," Lillard said. "We wanted to prove we can come get a road win against a quality team and I think we did that."
Kyle Tresnak had a nice night in the post adding 13 points and seven rebounds, but it was Eastern's Cliff Ederaine who proved to be the biggest millstone for the Wildcats down low, finishing with a team-high 20 points. Weber State travels to Portland State on Saturday.