Junior JAlen Carpenter goes up for the jump shot against the Bengals in the Wildcats' win Saturday. Carpenter finished the game with 12 points and 12 rebounds.   (Emily Crooks/ The Signpost)
Junior Jalen Carpenter goes up for the jump shot against the Bengals in the Wildcats’ win Saturday. Carpenter finished the game with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
(Emily Crooks/ The Signpost)

For the first time in six years, the Weber State women’s basketball team has won 10 games in a single season as they pulled out a close 63-57 win over Idaho State on Saturday.

“We wanted to protect our home court,” said WSU head coach Bethann Ord. “We really worked on tightening the little things. We weren’t going to leave anything to chance. We knocked down shots and played together. People stepped up big and executed, and it was what we needed to win tonight.”

The last time the Wildcats won 10 games in a season was in 2008-09, when they finished 10-19 (5-11 in conference) and tied for seventh place in the Big Sky Conference. After Saturday’s game, the Wildcats are now 10-12 (5-6 conference) and are tied with University of Northern Colorado for seventh place in the Big Sky.

After a close back-and-forth first half, the Wildcats jumped out to a 10-point lead six minutes into the second half. Weber State maintained a large lead throughout the half—leading by 13 points at one point—before the Bengals went on a 7-1 scoring run to make it a six-point game with just over two minutes left in the game.

Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin and Deeshyra Thomas were the only Wildcats to score in the final two minutes of the game as they combined to shoot 3-6 from the free-throw line, but the Wildcats held on to get the win.

“I think it was a good game. We all came together and worked hard,” said WSU junior Jalen Carpenter. “We got ugly at the end, but we still pulled out the win.”

Senior Carlee Lough drives down the court in the Wildcats' win Saturday. Lough scored a career-high 20 points against the Bengals.  (Emily Crooks/ The Signpost)
Senior Carlee Lough drives down the court in the Wildcats’ win Saturday. Lough scored a career-high 20 points against the Bengals.
(Emily Crooks/ The Signpost)

Carpenter provided a big presence on both ends of the court for the Wildcats in the win as she shot 6-11 from the field to finish with 12 points while also pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. The double-double was her seventh of the season and 12th of her career.

“Fortunately I came out hot for (the team),” Carpenter said. “But really it was a team effort and I’m glad that we got the win.”

Carpenter was one of two players for the Wildcats to score in double-digits as senior Carlee Lough set a new career-high with 20 points. Lough shot 5-10 from the field, including 3-5 from three-point range, as she led the team from the free-throw line shooting 7-8.

“That was a battle,” Lough said. “I’m just so proud of our team. There were times where we could have folded and let them keep coming on their run. We battled back and got stops.”

Lough was the fourth Wildcat this season to score 20 points, and the first since Brianna Averette scored 21 against New Mexico State earlier this season.

“It was a great team effort today,” Ord said. “Our upperclassmen really did a terrific job tonight. The team kept the composure the entire game, especially at the end. They battled hard.”

The Wildcats head back on the road this week as they face off against Southern Utah University (11-9, 4-6 conference) Thursday at 7 p.m. and Northern Arizona University (9-12, 5-5 conference) Saturday at 2 p.m. The Wildcats played SUU and NAU earlier this season at home, winning both games by 13 or more points.

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