The Weber State University women’s basketball team let the game slip away from it on Saturday afternoon against the University of Northern Colorado Bears. The Wildcats fell by the score of 65-47.
The Wildcats came out playing strong inside, scoring their first four points off of second-chance points and taking an early lead.
The Bears clawed back into the game, going on a 14-2 run to take a nine-point lead early in the half.
The Wildcats switched to full-court press coming out of a timeout and caused UNC to turn the ball over multiple times, getting fast-break points and trips to the free-throw line.
The Wildcats, in turn, climbed out of the hole, only down by two with six minutes to go.
The Wildcats and the Bears traded buckets in the final minutes, and the score going into the half was 26-24 in favor of UNC.
The Wildcats have had a lot of woes this season in the first halves, usually needing to climb back into games in the second half.
“My staff and I have talked about really making an effort in the first four minutes,” said Wildcat head coach Bethann Ord. “We call those game-busters, boxing out, getting your foot on the baseline. I thought we did a great job in the first half and up until 11 minutes, when they made their run.”
The Bears shot 46 percent from the field in the first half. Senior forward Lauren Oosdyke led all scorers with 12 points, and she also pulled down five rebounds.
WSU shot 38.5 percent from the floor. Freshman center Jalen Carpenter led the Wildcats with nine points. Freshman forward Kalie Matthews added six points and four rebounds. Both teams scored 16 points in the paint in the first half.
The Wildcats took the lead five minutes into the second half off of an offensive rebound and putback by Matthews.
The game was back and forth during the majority of the first part of the half, with both teams exchanging the lead.
In the second part of the second half, the Bears went on a 12-2 run, taking an eight-point lead. The Wildcats had a tough time getting shots to fall late in the half, and the score got away from them as UNC continued to shoot a strong percentage from the field.
The Bears blew open the game in the final minutes of the half, leading by as many as 19 points.
“We were in it,” Carpenter said. “We just didn’t get enough stops. We kind of got in our heads a little bit with about four minutes left.”
Oosdyke led all scorers with 22 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Bear senior guard Victoria Timm added six points, seven rebounds and 11 assists. The Bears went 29-51 in the game, shooting 68 percent from the field in the second half.
Carpenter led the Wildcats with 14 points and pulled down six rebounds. Matthews added 13 points and eight rebounds. The Wildcats struggled late in the game, finishing the second half shooting just 29 percent.
“We had two games with 40 minutes of great defense,” Ord said. “This game, I think we still played really good defense, but we just weren’t finishing. We weren’t attacking their zone, and that’s what killed us.”
The Wildcats will play their next four games on the road, beginning in Cedar City against Southern Utah University. The game will be on Thursday at 7 p.m. The next home game for WSU will be Feb. 28.