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Fifth-straight loss for women’s basketball

Weber State University’s women’s basketball team lost 85–75 against Southern Utah University on Jan. 24, making the game their fifth-straight loss this season.

Aloma Solovi (#22) of Weber State University waits as her team prepares the next play. (Weber State Athletics)
Aloma Solovi of Weber State University waits as her team prepares the next play. Photo credit: Weber State Athletics

Not even a double-double performance from forward Jadyn Matthews was enough to snap the Wildcats’ sour streak, and poor clutch minute performance continues to be the culprit.

“We’re not playing smart down the stretch. We have to play smart down the stretch, and that is not what we did today,” head coach Velaida Harris said.

Weber State started the game leading 12–5 due to the chemistry between center Emma Torbert and guard Aloma Solovi. Passes from Torbert to Solovi at the left wing led to two 3-pointers, forcing a Southern Utah timeout.

At the three-minute mark of the first quarter, Daylani Ballena of SUU hit a 10-foot jumper to end a 13–0 run by Weber.

After allowing 19 points in the first quarter, Southern Utah started the second with three blocks.

Offensively, they drew defenders to the key and were able to facilitate the ball beyond the arch, hitting 3-pointers and starting the quarter with a 7–0 run, giving them a 22–19 lead.

Matthews scored a 2-point field goal to end the run and did not look back. Being able to penetrate the key, Matthews drew 5 fouls in the quarter and ended the half with 17 points.

Weber State had a 3-point lead going into halftime.

“That’s been my strong suit this season so far, so if that’s what my team needs me to be, that helps me go out there and know that I can be in the paint,” Matthews said.

Wildcats bring their time out to a close with hands in the air, preparing to head back into the game. (Weber State Athletics)
Wildcats bring their timeout to a close with hands in the air, preparing to head back into the game. Photo credit: Weber State Athletics

Both teams came out slow to begin the third quarter, but at the six-minute mark, Southern Utah caused four Weber State turnovers, leading to a 10–5 run.

The Thunderbirds were able to accomplish this effectively by double-teaming players in the post and rotating to open shooters outside the arc.

A WSU 3-pointer and a block by Daryn Hickok brought the Wildcats back within 3 points at the end of the quarter despite giving up 23 in the 10-minute period. SUU led 55–52.

Buckets were traded between teams before Matthews began to make her presence felt again, snagging rebounds on three straight possessions.

This led Weber State through a 12–3 run and to a significant 64–58 lead with five minutes remaining in the game.

From minutes five to three in the fourth quarter, the Thunderbirds had five straight possessions due to offensive rebounds or Weber State fouls but didn’t score during all five.

After foul shots from both teams, SUU had possession of the ball with 10.7 seconds left, down 66–63. Cherita Daughtery inbounded the ball to Daylani Ballena, who passed back, and Daughtery shot a game-tying 3-pointer from one foot beyond the arc with 4.6 seconds left.

A basket from anywhere on the court by Weber State would prevent overtime. The inbound occurred at the top of the key, but a close-on-ball defense from SUU prevented Weber from a shot attempt, forcing overtime.

Baskets were traded to begin overtime. Then Southern Utah’s Samantha Johnson hit an open transition 3-pointer, Daughtery stripped the ball from Weber’s Solovi and Bellena hit a 12-foot jumper to give the Thunderbirds a four-point lead with two minutes remaining.

No shots were attempted for the remainder of the game. SUU went 6–6 from the free throw line during the rest of the meaningful minutes and defeated the Wildcats 85–75.

Weber looks to end their losing streak at home on Jan. 27 against the University of Northern Colorado.

Weber State's Kori Pentzer (#4) pushes against the Southern Utah defense. (Weber State Athletics)
Weber State's Kori Pentzer pushes against the Southern Utah defense. Photo credit: Weber State Athletics

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