3-9 Women's BBall v. University of Idaho (Ariana Berkemeier) (13 of 18).jpg
Coach Bethann Ord gives a speech to her team during a time-out in the fourth quarter of the Big Sky Conference game against University of Idaho. After their loss at Big Sky, the Wildcats made a comeback, winning the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational Tournament against New Mexico. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

In their first postseason appearence in over 20 years, the Weber State women’s basketball team upset the Lobos of New Mexico by a final score of 75-67 in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament.

“We challenged them the last time out with five minutes left to come up with every rebound and continued to control our offense, which was crucial at the end,” head coach Bethann Ord said in a statement to the press. “They were bigger and stronger, but we had a great game plan, and even though it was a quick turnaround, the girls stepped up and focused on what we can control.”

The game started slow for the Wildcats, trailing early by four points by the end of the first. The Lobos were able to take off scoring in the second, going on a 10-5 run before positive play from the ‘Cats helped to narrow that lead. The team only trailed by five points at the half, with the Lobos leading 36-31.

In the second half, the combined efforts of freshman Emily Drake and junior Deeshyra Thomas helped to ignite a fire in the Wildcat offense as weber state went on an 11-5 run giving the team their first lead of the game. The scoring continued for the Wildcats, and despite the Lobos tying up the game several times, the women were bale to walk off the court victorious.

The victory helps to solidify the positive season the team has had, having lost a heartbreaking overtime game to Idaho in the Big Sky Conference Tournament in Reno Nevada one week prior. The team has finished with their best season in 10 years.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our players, program and the Wildcat family,” Ord said in a statement. “It is a great reward for all the hard work this team has put into this season. It’s another step in building a winning culture for our program.”

The WBI tournament is played between 16 Division I teams that are worthy of a postseason berth but did not clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats now sit at 21-11 on the season and will await the results of the North Dakota-Grand Canyon matchup to learn where they will play next in the tournament.

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