The Weber State University women’s basketball team lost a tough game against the California State University, Sacramento Hornets on Thursday night, losing by a score of 63-57.
With this loss, the Wildcats broke the Big Sky Conference record for most consecutive losses with 45 straight.
The previous record belonged to CSUS, which lost 44 straight games between January 2001 and December 2002.
The last Wildcat win came on Dec. 10, 2011 against California State University, Bakersfield.
The Wildcats got on the board first, but had early difficulties against the full-court pressure of the Hornets.
The Wildcats committed some early turnovers, which CSUS turned into easy points, going on a 9-2 run early in the first quarter.
“We didn’t have trouble once we remembered what to do, going back and forth, keeping our composure,” said head coach Bethann Ord. “Our turnovers were more unforced; I didn’t feel like their pressure made us turn it over that much.”
The Wildcats battled back, converting on their 3-point attempts. They took the lead back midway through the first half on free-throw attempts from sophomore Brianna Averette.
The Wildcats traded buckets with the Hornets for most of the first half. The Hornets finished the half strong, pushing the lead to seven. The Wildcats trailed at the half by a score of 33-28.
Hornet senior Kylie Kuhns led all scorers with 12 points, while also pulling down eight rebounds. Senior Megan Kritscher added six points and four blocks for CSUS.
Senior Kia Rhodes led all Wildcat scorers with eight points. Freshman Regina Okoye added six points for WSU. Okoye, who leads the Big Sky Conference in steals per game, added to her total with two steals in the first half.
To start the second half, WSU was out-battled on the offensive glass, giving the Hornets multiple second-chance opportunities in the opening minutes of the half.
Three-point shots kept the Wildcats in the game in the second half. The Wildcats shot 40 percent from beyond the arc, which kept the game close.
The Wildcats continued to struggle against the full-court pressure of the Hornets, giving up 20 turnovers in the game. They were outscored in points off turnovers 18-9, and also off of fast-break points 10-2.
“I liked that we stuck to the game plan,” Ord said. “I know it’s not fun basketball when you basically have to go back and forth and go really slow bringing it up. This is a Sacramento team that loves to run. They try to get you to play their style. We didn’t want to get into that (up-tempo style).”
The Wildcats never led in the second half, only getting to within two points of the lead early in the second half.
Kuhns finished the night with 21 points and 20 rebounds, 10 of them being offensive rebounds. Kritscher finished with 13 points and five blocks.
Rhodes finished with 15 points for the Wildcats. Freshman Desiree Ramos had nine points off of 3-7 shooting from the 3-point line. Freshman Kalie Matthews finished the game with eight points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
“When I was posting, I could feel two people behind me, and I know to just kick it out,” Matthews said. “They were on on the outside, on the perimeter. I trust my teammates, and they made it happen.”
The Wildcats were outscored 36-16 in the paint, but, for the first time in many games, they out-rebounded their opponents. The Wildcats pulled down 46 rebounds, while the Hornets pulled down 44.
“That’s a big thing,” Matthews said. “We haven’t out-rebounded a team in a while. Especially against this team that expects us not to do very much, it feels good to out-rebound somebody. It’s a pride thing.”
The Wildcats’ next game will be on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Dee Events Center. This game is the last home game for the Wildcats this season. They will play against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks.
Long Island University holds the all-time record for losses in Division I women’s basketball. LIU lost 58 straight basketball games between the years 1986-89.