The Weber State University women’s basketball team may have broken its conference losing streak last week, but the Wildcats went on the road searching for their first road win of the season Thursday. They ventured to The Nest to take on California State University, Sacramento.
The run-and-gun offense of the Hornets, even being toned down a little bit, was too much for the Wildcats to overcome, as they fell 76-60. The loss dropped their overall record to 6-20, 2-15 in conference.
WSU head coach Bethann Ord said she saw some things her team did well on the night, but in the end was not pleased with some factors that affected the outcome of the game.
“Some of our players got into some early foul trouble, which really affected their minutes and impact in the game,” Ord said. “We gave them too many second chances, and with a team that shoots the three a lot, you can’t do that.”
In the loss, WSU sophomore Regina Okoye once again showed why she is one of premier defenders in the Big Sky. She ended the night with four steals, eight rebounds and 16 points. She was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Wildcats.
“I came into the game ready to play,” Okoye said. “We had a chip on our shoulder after they beat us the first time. I just wanted to finish as much as possible, and that meant I saw a shot go up and I went to the rim and tried to rebound. I was just playing basketball.”
Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin was the only other Wildcat in double digits, with 10 points. Desiree Ramos was held to eight points on 2-10 shooting, but dished out six assists in a game where her teammates aggressively defended her when she had the ball.
The Wildcats dominated the paint, outscoring the Hornets 34-36. But the Hornets controlled a majority of the other statistics, as they out-rebounded the Wildcats 42-40, which led to 17 second-chance points.
As a team that pressures and plays a fast-paced type of basketball, the Hornets have turned into a 3-point shooting machine. After shooting nearly 50 attempts in the first meeting, they turned it down a notch, only launching up 34. They connected on 12 of them, which gave them an advantage. The Wildcats only made three of them.
As the season winds down, Ord said, she wants her team to keep fighting and battling. The momentum gained in these last few games can play a huge role in how the offseason and next season will go.
“We have been working on finishing strong — that means all aspects of the game,” Ord said. “That means on offensive and on defense, we need to finish strong. We are wanting momentum as we head to into the offseason workouts. That will help us prepare and be ready for next year.”
The Wildcats will return to the Dee Events Center for their final two games of the season, hosting Portland State University on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Wildcats played against Northern Arizona University on Saturday. That game will be covered in the Wednesday edition of The Signpost and on www.wsusignpost.com.