With four seconds on the clock, senior Regina Okoye scored off a layup to help give Weber State a 57-55 victory over the University of Portland on Friday.
“We faced a tough Portland team that was physical and well prepared,” Head Coach Bethann Ord said in a post game interview. “Our kids played with resilience, overcame adversity throughout the game, and competed for all 40 minutes. This was a gritty road win for us that we look to serve as a catalyst for us as we head back on the road next weekend.”
Portland jumped out to a fast 11-5 lead that the Wildcats were able to narrow down to 17-13 after going on a late 8-6 run in the first period. The Wildcats continued and narrowed the lead to one point off a 3-point basket from Brittney Dunbar.
The Wildcats were able to take the lead off a layup from Okoye, the first time the team had the lead in the game. The lead was short-lived, as positive play by Portland put them in the lead over WSU by a score of 29-26 at the half.
The Wildcats came out of the break at full energy, and in a short amount of time has regained the lead off of a 7-2 scoring drive. WSU was able to maintain that lead for most of the third period when with two minutes left in the third, Portland rallied back to take the lead. WSU fought back and by the end of the tied had tied up the game with a score of 40-40.
The Wildcats took the lead early in the fourth quarter and carried on with the momentum that they showed in the third. Though WSU held the lead for the majority of the quarter, Portland fought back erasing a five point lead to tie things up in the final seconds. The layup by Okoye helped to seal the win for the Wildcats.
Regina Okoye led the team in scoring with a total of 21 points, a season high for her. She shot 66 percent from the field and was 77 percent from the free throw line. She pulled down eight rebounds for the team, a tie with teammate Jocelyn Adams, who also led the team in blocks with three blocked shots on the night.
Deeshyra Thomas scored 11 points for the team as well as recorded three steals while Kailie Quinn recorded eight points for the team, as well as six rebounds for the team. Brittney Dunbar also recorded 7 points for the team.
The game against Portland helped the Wildcats stay perfect on the road with a 3-0 record, and helped them to move on to 4-1 on the season.
The team will travel on the road this weekend to face off in the North Texas Tournament in Denton, Texas. They start against the University of North Texas on Friday Dec. 4 and then will follow that up with a game against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday Dec. 5. Following this tournament, the team will return home to face Brigham Young University on Thursday Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.