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‘Cats swat Hornets in bounce-back win

After tumbling out of first place in the Big Sky Conference, the Weber State University women’s basketball team was able to bounce back and sting the Hornets of Sacramento State, 86–73, on Feb. 17 at the Dee Events Center.

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Junior Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman throws the ball to an open Wildcat during the game agaisnt Sac State.(Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

With three consecutive losses in conference play, the Wildcats wanted to get back to their style of play.

“The biggest thing is just getting back to what we do and making sure we are playing together and taking care of each other,” head coach Bethann Ord said. “When they focus on their job, good stuff happens.”

The contest’s opening tip-off was controlled by Sacramento State, but the Hornets failed to convert on their opening possession, opening the door for a Wildcat three-pointer by junior Emily Drake on the first WSU possession.

After struggling throughout Weber State’s loss to Portland State, Drake was statistically perfect throughout the first quarter, making all five shots, two of which were 3-pointers. She also made both of her free throw attempts.

Drake ended the game leading all Wildcats with 23 points, sinking eight shots on 15 attempts. She surpassed her previous season high of 21 points.

“I think in the season, it’s going to be a roller coaster,” Drake said. “Sometimes the goal is an ‘ocean’ and other days it’s real thin. I think tonight it felt good and we did a good job of moving the ball as a team and finding who was hitting, whether it was Larryn (Brooks), (Kailie) Quinn, Bri (Gray) or myself.”

Senior Briana Gray provided meaningful minutes off the bench as Weber State’s “sixth man.” She showcased her defensive skill early blocking a shot and grabbing a steal on the next possession.

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Junior Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman attempts to bypass the Hornets defense while looking for an open player to pass to. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

Sophomore Dominique Williams came off the bench in the second quarter to give the Wildcats an offensive spark. After netting a highly-contested lay-up in the paint, she pulled up and sank a jump shot from the free throw line.

After pacing shot for shot with Sacramento State early, the Wildcats started to pull away in the second quarter as seniors Kailie Quinn and Larryn Brooks traded three-point shots.

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Senior Larryn Brooks attempts to get past a Hornets player while maintaining possesion of the ball down the court. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

As the first half came to its conclusion, Weber State led 42–36. As a team, they shot 48.5 percent from the field in the first half and 54.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

The Hornets came out in the second half with more defensive urgency, switching to a full-court press, but it was simply wasn’t enough for Sacramento State.

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Forward Briana Gray (behind) and Senior Emily Drake (front) block a Sac State Hornet player from maintaining possesion of the ball during the game. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

Combining their sharp shooting and defensive prowess, the Wildcats were able to keep their lead throughout the second half and finished the game beating the Hornets 86–73.

Senior Jocelyn Adams and Brooks each contributed a double-double for the Wildcats, as Brooks finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists and Adams scored 12 total points with a team high 11 rebounds.

Sophomore Hannah Friend led all Hornets with 24 total points in the contest. Sacramento State only managed to shoot 35.9 percent as a team throughout the game.

Weber State has four games remaining in the regular season. They travel to face Eastern Washington and Idaho, on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24, respectively.

Ord said, “We have to be road warriors and I’m looking forward to the task at hand. These guys know that the most important game is our next game and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”

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