The Weber State University women’s basketball team continued its skid, falling to Sacramento State University Thursday and losing a very close game to Idaho State University Saturday.
Thursday night, the Wildcats hosted the SSU Hornets. The Hornets came out on fire, jumping to a seven point lead in the first three minutes. WSU battled back, and with 11 minutes left in the first half, the Wildcats took their first lead. But despite its best efforts, WSU quickly lost the lead, and for the the remainder of the first half, it failed to get within five points of SSU.
During the first half, WSU struggled to make baskets, only making nine shots out of 32 attempts. The second half of the game didn’t fare much better for the Wildcats, as the Hornets maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the half. WSU managed to cut the deficit to four points with just over four minutes left to play, but the ‘Cats couldn’t put it together and ended up losing to SSU 83-68.
Despite the loss, the Wildcats still had some good performances. Juniors Shawnte Taylor and Amanda Hughes, senior Mikell Woodfield, and sophomore Laura Palmere all scored double-digit points.
Hughes and Taylor also had 10 rebounds each, giving Hughes her sixth double-double of the season and Taylor her first. Sophomore Justine Johnson also had a good performance, scoring nine points, making five steals and five rebounds. Head Coach Bethann Ord was impressed by her team’s performances, but she also emphasized that the team still needs to work more on its defense.
Saturday afternoon, the ISU Bengals, undefeated in Big Sky Conference play, rolled up to Dee Events Center. ISU scored first and rolled over WSU for most of the first half. The closest WSU got in the first half was within five points 10 minutes in. The Bengals defense shut down the Wildcats, holding WSU to under 20 points in the first half. This was the first time the Wildcats were held under 20 points in the first half since Nov. 27 when WSU faced University of California, Irvine.
Despite trailing by 18 at halftime, the Wildcats came out rejuvenated and continued to chip away at the Bengals lead. The crowd jumped to its feet with six and a half minutes left in the game, as the Wildcats took its first lead of the game.
The Wildcats were poised to win their first game in seven weeks, but with 16 seconds left, ISU tied the score, five seconds later, the Bengals regained the lead. With just a few seconds left, WSU went for the shot but watched as it bounced off the rim, and the Wildcats dropped to 2-19 and lost their eighth straight conference game.
Taylor and Hughes both had impressive performances once again. Taylor scored 13 points and made five rebounds, while Hughes had her fourth consecutive double-double and seventh on the season, making 11 rebounds and scoring 15 points. Coach Ord praised Taylor and Hughes’ performances along with the rest of the team despite the loss.
“We know we can be as good or better than any other team in our league,” Ord said.
After the game, senior Caela Mohre talked about how tough it was to lose the game.
“We could feel it. We all felt the win, and we knew we had the game,” Mohre said. “You know, it doesn’t ever come down to one play or one shot or one possession, but we learn from it.”
Palmere also remained positive, saying that she was proud that the team never gave up. “[The loss] makes us realize we’re right there,” Palmere said. “We just need to make one more step up.”
WSU’s next game is on Thursday, when it travels to Portland to take on the Portland State University Vikings. Mohre said that the close loss to ISU shows that the Wildcats can play.
“We can win games,” Mohre said. “We can compete with anybody. We are right there, so watch out.”