The Weber State University women’s basketball team did not get much of a break, as it played six games during the time off from school. The Wildcats earned two victories over the break against San Jose State University and California State University, Bakersfield in early December.
“We have had quite a tough preseason,” said Head Coach Bethann Ord. “The girls battled every game, and I feel like they just keep getting better.”
The Wildcats started their winter break off with their first victory against SJSU with a close score of 67-69. Mikell Woodfield scored the winning basket with 2.3 seconds to go against the Spartans.
After the SJSU game, Ord said the team just needed to lay it on the line out on the court, and the score would follow.
“We just chipped away at it and got the lead,” Ord said. “One of our keys before that game was to win the battle on the boards; we did that during the second half, and that was very important to our win.”
Junior guard Kia Rhodes said after the game against the Spartans that, after the small amount of pressure, they were put under in the first half of the game, which gave the team the motivation to come out fighting in the second half.
“It was really important for us to come out hard to start the second half,” Rhodes said. “We just needed to show some more poise. We found our spark today. I definitely think this is something we can build off of.”
The ’Cats then went to Utah Valley University, where they lost 59-63. WSU led the game 35-31 at halftime and lost the lead due to foul trouble. Woodfield finshed with 11 points and 12 rebounds that game.
Against CSU-Bakersfield, WSU won 85-72. Junior forward Amanda Hughes hit 10 of 17 shots from the field and ended the game with 25 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and the fifth of her career.
After the win against the Roadrunners, Hughes said her teammates helped her throughout the game.
“I just fed off my team’s energy,” Hughes said. “We just played with a determined attitude that we weren’t going to lose.”
The team played the University of Wyoming and lost in an overtime thriller 76-68. WSU played in front of its third-largest crowd to date in the Dee Events Center. Woodfield put up 18 points for the Wildcats against the Cowgirls.
In Boulder, Colo., the Wildcats lost to the University of Colorado Boulder, 77-59. Junior guard Megan Patterson led the Wildcats with 15 points and seven rebounds. WSU started the game with an early four-point lead, but the Buffaloes’ inside game proved to be too much for WSU to handle. The Buffaloes held a 52-12 advantage in points in the paint and out-rebounded the Wildcats 48-38.
The Wildcats took on the UVU Wolverines once more, this time on WSU’s home court. The Wolverines proved again to be victorious, with a 72-65 win over the Wildcats. WSU only shot 26.3 percent against the Wolverines. The Wildcats were tied at 32s at halftime. UVU’s solid free-throw shooting secured the win.
The Wildcats will continue Big Sky Conference against Eastern Washington University. WSU was picked to finish eighth in the coaches’ and media preseason conference polls. EWU was picked seventh in the preseason polls. WSU will face off against the Eagles on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Dee Events Center. They will then turn around and play Portland State University, which was picked to win the Big Sky by both coaches and media, on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We were getting better during preseason, and now, with conference, it’s big, so we just have to stay healthy and I think we will be okay,” Ord said.