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Grizzlies maul ’Cats for second straight loss

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The Weber State University women’s basketball team squared off against Big Sky foe, the Montana Grizzlies, on Jan. 26. They fell 72–60 at the Dee Events Center for their second consecutive loss.

Both teams entered the match having lost their previous game and looked to change their fortunes.

“I want to win like everybody else, but I see progress,” head coach Velaida Harris said. “Young kids that need to be getting better are getting better, older kids are getting better.”

As the fans began to pour in, the Montana faithful made their presence known, crimson attire littering the stands, letting their voices be heard.

Montana put the first points on the board with a three-point basket that was quickly answered by Weber State’s junior forward Dominique Williams. The Grizzlies continued the half with a shooting display that converted 75 percent from downtown in the first quarter. Weber shot well, going 7-16 from the field as a team, but trailed Montana 21–17 after the first frame.

After a high scoring first quarter both teams couldn’t find the scoreboard until the 6:30 mark, when WSU sophomore Kayla Watkins ended the drought with a fast break lay-up.

WSU closed out the first half with a 5–0 run, entering the locker room down 32–28. There were led by Watkins with 11 points.

“It’s my teammates getting me the ball in the right spots and setting good screens and getting me open,” Watkins said.

With just over six minutes to go in the third quarter, Montana managed to stretch their lead to 11 as Weber did everything in their power to stop the game from getting out of control.

As the third quarter wound down, Weber played with renewed vigor, cutting the Montana lead down to seven and entered the final quarter down 49–43.

With a little over five minutes left, Watkins came up with a big block and senior Emily Drake finished the play with a three on the other end.

WSU rode the momentum with aggressive defense and forced Montana into a timeout while leading by seven.

Down by ten with 41 seconds left to play, Weber had to play the free throw game and hope Montana would miss. Weber ultimately fell 72-60 and now sits 4-15 on the season.

Watkins finished the game with a team-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. The other Wildcats to score in double digits were Drake and fellow senior Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman, who scored 17 and 13 points, respectively. Welch-Coleman led the team with seven assists.

The Wildcats look to bounce back as they travel to Portland State and Sacramento State this week.

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