After starting out the season 3-0, the Weber State women’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the season in Orem, as the Wildcats fell to Utah Valley 61-40.
“We outrebounded them which was a positive but we didn’t convert those rebounds,” said WSU head coach Bethann Ord. “There were just too many missed opportunities offensively and the offensive energy quickly deflated.”
The UVU Wolverines quickly jumped out to a 10-3 lead early in the first half, and continued to outscore the Wildcats as they went into halftime leading 28-15. Weber State shot .200 from the field in the first half (6-30), their worst shooting performance in a half this season.
The Wildcats made improvements in the second half, shooting .294 from the field (10-34) and outrebounded the Wolverines 22-16. Despite the second half improvements, the Wildcats were unable to overcome the first half deficit as they lost 61-40. It was the third straight game the Wildcats have lost to the Wolverines in Orem, their last win coming during the 2005-06 season.
Junior Regina Okoye led the team in scoring with 11 points, the only Wildcat to score double-digit points in the loss. She also pulled down seven rebounds, while recording a team-high three assists, a block and two steals. Okoye now has 176 steals in her career, and is 39 steals away from setting the school career record.
Junior Jalen Carpenter had a game-high four blocks in the loss, giving her 60 for her career as she passed former Wildcat Michelle Kelsey for sixth place on the career blocks list. Carpenter also had five points and a rebound against the Wolverines. Senior Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin set a career high with 12 rebounds on Saturday, while also scoring five points and recording a block and two steals.
“We didn’t really play hard. We rebounded the ball; we just didn’t finish,” Shahid-Martin said. “We just have to pick (our energy) up for the next game and fight the whole game. Even when we’re down.”
Ord said after the game that the team was ready to move on from the loss and get ready for Monday’s game.
“The girls are hungry,” Ord said. “We’ve got one day to prepare and we are excited to get back and defend our home court.”
The Wildcats (3-1) return home on Monday night as they host Cal State Fullerton (0-3) at 7 p.m. They will then go on the road again as they participate in the New Mexico State tournament on Nov. 28 and 29.
We just need to play like I know we can play,” Okoye said. “Let this game go and be in the past and be the team I know we are.”