After taking an extra day off for their first-round bye, the Weber State University women’s basketball team’s run for the Big Sky Conference title began, and ended, on March 7 against Idaho State University.
The Bengals pulled out the win 113–109 over the Wildcats in overtime. The loss is not only the end of the season, but the Weber State careers of Kailie Quinn, Jocelyn Adams, Briana Gray and Larryn Brooks unless they are selected to participate in a postseason tournament.
In the beginning, the Wildcats were dominant, leading 29–19 at the end of the first period off of 20 combined points from juniors Emily Drake and Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman.
Idaho State head coach Seton Sobolewski said, “If you think you’re just going to defend them and slow them down and stop them, I don’t know if it’s going to work out for you.”
The second half was more of the same, as the Wildcats continued to push the pace of the game, forcing the Bengals out of their element. With her second 3-pointer of the second quarter, Drake reached 20 points, tying her with Rachelle Gardner for 19th in scoring in WSU history.
Going into halftime, the ’Cats had a 55–34 lead after an off-balance 3-pointer for Brooks swished through the net before the buzzer rang out.
The third quarter was the first time the Wildcats struggled in the game, going on a three-minute long scoring drought in the quarter that allowed the Bengals to bring the game back within 20 points.
Despite these struggles, the team held strong and ended the quarter leading 73–61 with another buzzer beater, this time a layup from Welch-Coleman.
Idaho State finally took the lead with 1:30 left in the game from a 3-pointer by sophomore Estefania Ors that gave ISU a 93–92 lead. Both teams went back-and-forth in the final seconds, tying the game at 98 apiece with 24 seconds left. The score stayed 98–98 going into overtime.
Idaho State eventually called a timeout with 24.9 seconds left with the Bengals leading 108–107. After a pair of Bengals free throws, the ’Cats called their final timeout of the game, trailing by three with 21 seconds to go. After back and forth free throws the game ended 113–109 in favor of the Bengals.
Ord said, “It was definitely a tale of two halves. We came out screaming, just playing terrific and had a great first half, but as we know, it’s four quarters.”
Welch-Coleman led the team with six assists, and Adams finished with the final double-double of her career, she picked up 12 points and 13 rebounds. Weber State ended the game shooting 52. 8 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the free throw line.
Drake said, “When things started to turn, we needed to come together, and I felt like we did a good job of handling their runs a little bit, and then it just came down to the end, and we didn’t end up on top.”
Even though Weber State didn’t end up on top of the scoreboard, they got to the top of the record books. Welch-Coleman’s 33 points give her eighth place in a single tournament game, while Drake’s 31 gave her a tie for 13th place. Both scoring marks are new career highs.
Drake’s seven 3-pointers were tied for the fourth most in a single game, while Welch-Coleman also tied for 11th most made field goals in a game, 11, while Brooks’ 21 shots were the tied for the 21st most in a single BSC tournament game. The two seniors who spent the entirety of their careers in Ogden also found ways to etch their names in history in the game.
Adams is tied for the fifth most blocks in a single game with her five, and Quinn was tied for the eighth most minutes played in a single game by taking the court for 42 of the game’s 45 minutes.
While five ’Cats made history on their own, both Weber State and Idaho State set team records in the historic second round matchup. The 109 WSU points were the second most ever in a tournament game, second only to the Bengals 113 points. They also combined for the most total points in a single tournament game.
Weber State’s 55 first-half points tied for the second most in a quarter, the new record was set by Idaho State with their 64 second-half points. Unsurprisingly, scoring records led to more for both teams, as the Wildcats were tied for the third most field goals made with 38. The Bengals have sole possession of second on the list with 41 made field goals. The 79 combined field goals were the most in any Big Sky Tournament game.
Weber State’s 13 3-pointers tied for the sixth most in any game, while their 30 3-point attempts are tied for the 12th most. The two teams combined for the third most 3-pointers, 23, in any game in Big Sky Conference Tournament history.
While the scoreboard swayed away from Weber State in the end, the team will be remembered forever in the record books for their duel in Reno.