[media-credit name=”Bryan Butterfield” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Weber State University's Kia Rhodes drives to the hoop during a game against Brigham Young University. WSU lost three games over the Thanksgiving break in Oregon.
Last week, the Weber State University women’s basketball team traveled to Oregon to take part in a tournament hosted by the University of Oregon, but came away winless.

The Wildcat’s first game was against the U of O Ducks on Thanksgiving Day. WSU took the lead early, going up 4-0, but the Ducks overpowered them, scoring 14 unanswered points to make it 14-4.

The Wildcats kept the score close for most of the first half, but the Ducks broke away late in the half, making the score 46-32 with Oregon leading at the end of the half. In the second half, the Ducks came out strong, leading by almost 30 points over WSU. The Wildcats fought on though and went on a streak where they scored 12 consecutive points to cut the deficit to only 11 points. In the end though, it wasn’t enough. The Wildcats fell to the Ducks, 88-73.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats had a good game, with several players recording career-high numbers. Senior guard Caela Mohre and sophomore guard Jordan Pfau both recorded career highs in points, Mohre with 21 points and Pfau with 13. Pfau made eight rebounds and junior forward Amanda Hughes made 13 rebounds, both of which were career highs for them.

The next day, WSU took on Nicholls State University. Once again, the Wildcats jumped out ahead quickly, taking a 5-1 lead, but the NSU Colonels pulled away late in the first half and took a 39-23 lead into halftime. WSU made several attempts to come back in the second half, but they were unable to cut NSU’s lead, and the Wildcats lost, 83-56. Even with the loss, WSU had another strong day, recording at least 40 rebounds for the second-straight game. Hughes led the Wildcats with her fourth career double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Mohre and senior forward Mikell Woodfield also put up strong numbers, as they combined for 21 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

The Wildcats’ final game in Oregon took place Sunday afternoon against the University of California, Irvine. WSU trailed the UCI Anteaters by as much as 23 points throughout the first half, and going into halftime, the Wildcats trailed 37-18. When the game resumed after halftime, the Wildcats went on a hot streak and managed to cut the deficit to 52-36 with just under 10 minutes left in the game. From there, WSU went on an 18-5 run to get within three points with under a minute and a half left in the game. In the last minute, the Anteaters forced two turnovers, and with two seconds remaining, sophomore guard Justine Johnson came up just short on a potentially game tying 3-point shot, and the Wildcats lost to the Anteaters, 57-54. Johnson led the team in scoring with 14 points, while Hughes and junior forward Shawnte Taylor both scored eight points.

Mohre said she was a little disappointed by the losses, but feels that the team is making improvements.

“We didn’t perform like I know we can,” Mohre said. “We’re working on a lot of things, trying to make some little changes so we can start winning some games.” One of the big things Mohre said she feels the players needs to work on to prepare for their next game is their team defense.

Head Coach Bethann Ord said the team has had some ups and downs so far this season, but it just needs to take care of business and take care of the little things.

“Every game, we see better things,” said Ord. “We just got to stay positive.” Ord pointed out that the team has had a tough schedule. Five of its six games this year have been on the road, but Ord said players just have to stay positive and stick with it.

The Wildcats (0-6) will have their next game on Thursday night, when WSU travels to Salt Lake City to take on the University of Utah Utes (2-3). When asked about the team’s preparation for Thursday’s game, Ord said, “We have a lot to work on, so we are going to stick to the fundamentals…It’ll be a battle. They are a very good team.”

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