The Weber State Wildcats welcomed the Northern Colorado Bears into the Dee Events Center on Saturday afternoon. Both teams battled through four quarters, but in the end, UNCO prevailed as they left Ogden with a 69-65 win.
While the Wildcat season continues, the team might have found a spark. In their last two games, freshmen forward Daryn Hickok has poured in 30 points against Southern Utah and 23 points in this game against the Bears.
Head coach Velaida Harris spoke on the freshmen’s breakout performances: “She’s aggressive, she’s strong and she can get to the rim. Then she has multiple ways to finish at the rim.”
Hickok marks the third different freshmen to finish a game as the team’s leading scorer, as she has now joined Ula Chamberlin and Jadyn Matthews in that club.
Another impact performance came from Liz Graves, who leads the team in scoring; she pitched in 17 points and 10 rebounds.
As the young Wildcat team has struggled to win games, they were able to get the best of UNCO on the road. Saturday’s game was expected to be a tight one – that expectation held.
The Wildcats held the lead for a large portion of the first half, but the Bears went into halftime with the lead after getting a bucket to fall right before the end of the half. The scoreboard read 28-27 with both teams playing very similar games.
In the second half, the third quarter was tight, but the Bears won. They outscored WSU by 4 points, which set up the race to the finish line in the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the game heated up as both teams realized that if they wanted to win, they had to dig deep, and the ‘Cats could not overcome the deficit. When WSU scored down the stretch, the Bears matched it with a basket of their own, and the ‘Cats could not break that trend. In the end, the Bears walked away with a 69-65 win and tied their season series with WSU at 1-1.
As Weber State continues to gain experience, they must also deal with growing pains. Those pains include a 3-17 record and a losing streak of seven games. Thursday will be another opportunity to end the streak, as they travel to California to take on the Sacramento State Hornets and then travel to Northern Arizona to face off against the Lumberjacks.
The next home game for the ‘Cats will be on Feb. 13 against the Montana Grizzlies.