Weber basketball: One step forward, two steps back

Guard/Forward Zahir Porter #0 attempting to get past a Utah Tech player to recieve points for WSU.

Weber State University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted three games at the Dee Events Center on Dec. 1 and 3.

The Wildcat women pulled away from the week with a 74–69 loss from in-state rival Utah State and a 64–51 win against Seattle University.

The men’s team played one game during the week and fell 77–65 to in-state rival Utah Tech University on Dec. 3.

Women’s Basketball

What looked to be a close game against the Aggies turned into a late surge from USU that the ‘Cats couldn’t come back from. USU won 74–69.

Of the four quarters played, Weber State only outscored USU in the first quarter, 16–11. Laura Taylor and Daryn Hickok led the squad with six points each, while Jadyn Matthews and Amelia Raidaveta contributed two points each.

USU started to find a flow to the game and collected 16 points in the second quarter compared to the Wildcats’ 14. Despite the Aggies’ attempts to tie the game before the half, their late start in the first quarter left them down 30–27 at the break.

The dynamic duo of Hickok and Matthews led the squad in the third quarter, scoring 11 of the Wildcats’ 17 points. Hickok scored five points in the first two minutes of the quarter off of some free throws and a 3-pointer.

On the Aggies’ side, Olivia Wikstrom had 5 points, while Tamiah Robinson had 6. The Aggies had the lead headed into the fourth quarter, 46–44. The Aggies outscored the ‘Cats 28–22, the largest difference in points scored throughout all quarters.

Hickok led the squad with 27 points, a career high, Matthews was second with 19 and Taylor collected 14 points.

“We have to be so mentally tough,” Matthews said. “We can’t have errors like that. These are lessons I think we are going to learn from.”

Following the Wildcats’ loss to the Aggies, they looked to their next game against Seattle University to get back into the win column.

The Wildcats looked to capitalize on a lead, and they did just that. At the half, the ‘Cats had a 39–21 lead and were able to close out the game 64–51. They are now 4–4 on the season.

Men’s Basketball

Utah Tech traveled up to Ogden with fans in tow and handed the ‘Cats a 77–65 loss.

What looked to be a back-and-forth game in the early minutes of the half slowly turned into a 10–0 run that resulted in the Trailblazers leading 14–4.

“They came out and punched us in the mouth,” Steven Verplancken Jr. said. “When we have to play from behind, it’s just tough the whole game.”

Verplancken looked to be the answer for the ‘Cats, but the efforts of one player wasn’t enough to keep the team afloat. Verplancken had five points in the first 11 minutes of the first half.

Despite their best efforts, the Wildcats trailed UTU 40–28 at the half.

Both teams scored 37 points each in the second half, but the Trailblazers’ performance in the first half is what kept them from a close game.

Verplancken led the squad with 15 points, nine of those points coming from 3-pointers, Dillon Jones was close behind with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Jones now has four double-doubles on the season.