It was a tournament of hope and heartbreak for the Weber State women’s basketball team. After the first game against Portland State, the team was flying high on hope. They defeated the Vikings by a final score of 91-68 in the largest margin of victory for the Wildcats in a playoff game in school history.
A bulk of their scoring in the first game was done by Yarden Danan, who caught fire in the tournament scoring 24 points in the game against Portland State while making six 3-pointers and setting her new career high in scoring.
“That was our game, and we needed to win the game, so I did the best I could, and I’m happy I could help the team,” Danan said.
Standout senior Brittney Dunbar scored 17 points alone and contributed four steals in her personal shutdown of the Vikings offense. After the dismantling of Portland State, coach Bethann Ord and her team prepared to face the Idaho Vandals.
“The girls are hungry for Idaho, but we like to enjoy this moment because you only have it once,” said Ord.
But this is when things changed for the Wildcats. The team was prepared to avenge their loss against Idaho during the last home stand of the regular season.
Weber held a slight lead with just a minute to go in the game before Idaho freshman Mikayla Ferenz scored six points on her own and forced the game into overtime. It was there that the game remained tied until the final seconds.
The score was 83-83 when Idaho freshman Taylor Pierce corralled the ball on the Wildcats side of the court and leveled a shot that was tipped by Danan but still found its way into the net. The Vandals hit an overtime buzzer-beater to topple Weber State.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the locker room, obviously. My girls worked their hearts and souls into this team,” Ord said.
In the end, senior Regina Okoye was unable to come back from her injury to play in the conference tournament. As for Dunbar, she finished the tournament with 34 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists and eight blocks.
The Wildcats finished the season with a record of 20-11, making this the first time since the 2002-2003 season that Weber State won 20 games in a season.