Weber State University’s women’s basketball team started the season strong with a 72–57 victory over the University of North Dakota.

Weber State's women's basketball player Daryn Hickok, 21, fights her way to the basket in the Nov. 9 game at WSU against North Dakota. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)
Weber State's Daryn Hickok, 21, fights her way to the basket in the Nov. 9 game at WSU against North Dakota. Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

A dominant performance by forward Emma Torbert gave Weber State a lead early in the game. Torbert scored the first basket and threw an assist to forward Daryn Hickok, who scored off her own defensive rebound and converted an and-1 opportunity all within the first three minutes of the game.

Torbert “played her butt off,” according to Coach Velaida Harris. “That’s exactly what we need her to do, but then what that does is open it up for everybody else.”

This match was dominated inside the paint, as both teams combined for only 8 out of 39 from the three. By half, the three starting forwards for Weber State — Hickok, Torbert and Jadyn Matthews — had combined for 29 of the team’s 43 points.

“When I see them thriving and doing well, it makes me want to play better, and I know they feel the same way,” Matthews said. “If everyone can eat, we’re doing well out there.”

Jadyn Matthews, 5, goes in for 2 points in WSU's opener on Nov. 9. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)
Jadyn Matthews, 5, goes in for 2 points in WSU's opener on Nov. 9. Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

Despite being down 43–27 at the half, North Dakota started to rally back. Freshman guard for the Fighting Hawks, Jodi Anderson, scored 9 of her 11 points in the second half, 2 of which were from the charity stripe.

North Dakota focused primarily on playing the paint late in the game, scoring 16 of their second-half points from inside with 5 points coming from second-chance shots. The Fighting Hawks also made 8 points off fast breaks in the second half.

“We didn’t run today as well as we could because we turned the ball over a lot in transition,” Coach Harris said. “We had probably 11 opportunities where we either got a charge or we turned it over or didn’t get what was open initially.”

Emri Lovell, 10, of Weber State's women's basketball team, plays offense in the first game of the season on Nov. 9 at WSU. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)
Emri Lovell, 10, plays offense in the first game of the season on Nov. 9 at WSU. Photo credit: Nikki Dorber

Despite North Dakota’s best efforts, Weber State pulled out of the game with their first victory of the season. This is the first time the women’s basketball team has won their season opener in two years.

WSU will play away for their next two games against the University of Portland on Nov. 13 and Texas Tech University on Nov. 16. Weber State will return home to play the University of Nebraska Omaha on Nov. 21.

The team’s going to treat this away stretch as a business trip, according to Harris. “We need to do our homework, and then we’re going to focus on the team that we’re playing.”

Nakilah Johnson, 34, of Weber State University's women's basketball, goes in for a 2-point basket on Nov. 9 as the Wildcats host North Dakota for their opening game in Ogden, Utah. (Nikki Dorber/The Signpost)
Nakilah Johnson goes in for a 2-point basket on Nov. 9 as the Wildcats host North Dakota for their opening game in Ogden, Utah. Photo credit: Nikki Dorber
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