After two convincing home wins to start the season, the Weber State University women’s basketball team flew across the country to seek a tougher test. The team faced off against Big East foe Seton Hall University on Friday night. The Wildcats were seeking their first three-game winning streak since February 2008.
The Wildcats kept themselves in the game, but were never able to get the lead, as some of the starters battled foul trouble all night. The Pirates capitalized on 42.6 percent shooting and 27 points from Tabitha Richardson-Smith to win 78-61.
The Pirates held the Wildcats without a 3-point basket. WSU shot 0-12, which has not happened since December 2011. The loss dropped the Wildcats’ record to 2-1, while SHU maintained its perfect record, 3-0.
The Wildcats were led by Jalen Carpenter, who just missed a double-double as she poured in 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Desiree Ramos filled the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds and four assists. Amanda Hughes added nine of the Wildcats’ 25 points off the bench.
Even after falling behind early on, the Wildcats had their chances to take the lead. They pulled the gap to within a single possession in the first half. But the Pirates answered those situations with runs of 5-0 and 8-0.
The Pirates led by as many as 18 points in the first half, but by the time the intermission whistle blew, the Wildcats had brought themselves within 11.
The Pirates came out in the second half on fire, quickly extending their lead to 21. The Wildcats had no answer for Richardson-Smith as she went on to score 16 points in the second half alone.
The lead was as much as 23 midway through the second half, but the Wildcats didn’t give up, continuing to pressure the Pirates. A small run to get the lead down to 15 was the closest they came in the game.
Head coach Bethann Ord said she knew that flying across the country and facing a good team from a major conference would be a tough task, but if the team would have made some open shots, it might have been a different game.
“You have to play almost a perfect game against a team like that,” Ord said. “They are a good team, but tonight it was more that we were hurting ourselves by turnovers and not hitting open shots. We played well, but once again, we just didn’t hit those open shots we had.”
Carpenter, who registered her third-straight game scoring more than 10 points, said she was excited to go and play a team in a hostile environment. She knows the team is never going to give up and will continue to try to get itself back in the game.
“We played pretty hard,” Carpenter said. “It was a tough environment. It was a good test for us, and we didn’t give up. I like to play in other places across the country, but I don’t get nervous at all. I just go out and play basketball like I always have.”
The Wildcats will return home to face the U.S. Air Force Academy on Nov. 26. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.