Despite being down by 12 points in the first quarter, the Weber State University women’s basketball team rallied back to defeat Sacramento State University 98–97 in overtime at the Reno Events Center.
The win over the Hornets broke the Wildcats’ six-game losing streak.
“The tournament is always a new season,” senior Deeshyra Thomas said. “It’s a fresh start coming here and battling and giving everything you’ve got because if you lose, that’s it.”
The lone senior led the team with 25 points. Thomas was followed in scoring by junior Kailie Quinn, who knocked down seven 3-pointers and had a total of 23 points. Sophomore Tyschal Blake had a career high of 14 points and nine rebounds
“If you believe that (the shot) is going to go in, it is going to go in,” Quinn said.
The Wildcats struggled offensively in the first quarter, letting Sac State take a 26–14 lead. A momentum shift in the second quarter got the Wildcats back on their feet.
Quinn knocked down a 3-point shot and was followed by sophomore Emily Drake, adding two more points to the scoreboard.
Despite the shift, the Wildcats were unable to claim the lead before the half, entering the locker room down 40-42.
“We knew that today was the day we needed to come out with as much energy as possible,” Thomas said. “We kept that energy up until the end.”
The Hornets came out after the half fired up, dropping 10 points just shy of three minutes into the third quarter. The third quarter was dominated by the Hornets, but the Wildcats dug in their claws and cut the deficit to seven.
The Wildcats went on an 8–1 run to tie the game at 70 apiece with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Both teams took their turns at the basket, battling back and forth for the lead.
It was a tie game at 89 apiece with under one second to play. The ball was inbounded to Thomas, who missed the possible game winning shot, sending the first game of the Big Sky Conference Championship Tournament into overtime.
Thomas and sophomore Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman knocked down three free-throw shots to put the ’Cats on top 92–89 within the first minute of overtime.
The Hornets fought hard until the end, but Thomas knocked down a crucial shot with three seconds left on the clock to secure the win for WSU.
“It felt amazing,” Thomas said, referring to the shot. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates putting their faith in me and just telling me to shoot the ball.”
Weber State had a total of five players in double-digits scoring, with a near 50 percent shooting percentage to Sac State’s shooting 45 percent.
WSU is now 13–17 for the season. The Wildcats will move on to face the No. 1 seed Montana State University on March 8 at 1:05 p.m. MT, in the quarterfinal round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
“This is somewhere that we want to be,” Thomas said. “The experience is like no other. We are going to go out there and play our hearts out.”