The Weber State Wildcats fell to the University of Montana Grizzlies 58–57 on Feb. 13, closing the gap between the teams to just one point in the second half.
“The comeback was just really about their fight and their fire and what they were saying to each other in the huddles,” Coach Velaida Harris said. “If we go back to the huddle and we feel like they’re talking, and they got high energy, that’s great.”
The first quarter ended with each team having scored 15 points. Then, the Grizzlies gained momentum in the second quarter and turned it into a 17-point lead heading into halftime.
Montana’s lead came from their shooting percentages; they shot 43% from the field compared to the Wildcats’ 28%.
In the third quarter, Weber State sliced the Grizzlies’ lead down to 4 points after scoring 23 points. Throughout the fourth quarter, WSU scored another 12 in the fourth quarter but could not overcome Montana, losing by one point.
UM overtook the Wildcats in nearly every category, scoring more points off turnovers and piled on more points in the paint. The Grizzlies scored 13 off of turnovers and 24 in the paint while the ‘Cats scored 9 off turnovers and 20 in the paint.
The Wildcat bench outscored Montana’s 14–13, but WSU was left with one less fast-break point, as they only scored 9 to Montana’s 10.
Montana also shot at a slightly higher percentage, scoring 32% of their looks from the field while WSU connected 31%.
Junior guards Kori Pentzer and Aloma Solovi both scored 11 points each, and sophomore forward Jadyn Matthews and senior forward Dominique Williams both scored 10 points.
Harris was proud of how much energy her team brought during their second-half comeback.”I’m very proud of that fight. I’m so disappointed that we lost, but I’m so disappointed for them because they put it all in,” she said.
Harris hopes there is an understanding now amongst the players that the last half of the game is how they must play every game. If that energy is always there, then even if they lose, each player will know they put forth their best effort to get the victory.
This loss drops the Wildcats to 0–15 for the season.