Late-season dub at the Dee

Forward Jadyn Matthews (5) and Tamali’i Fonoti (24) celebrate after a basket. Matthews finished the game with 21 points.

Weber State University’s women’s basketball team beat Portland State University 62–55 on Feb.18 at the Dee Events Center. Wildcat forward Vicky Parra started the game off by scoring early with a jumper in the paint. The Vikings responded with a layup on the other end of the floor.

Both teams were locked in, going back and forth throughout the first quarter. Neither team could extend their lead by more than 4 points, leading to Portland State ending the quarter up 19–15. The game remained close going into the second quarter. Before the end of the half, Weber State went on a 6–0 run and tied the game at 23.

Both teams began to play defensively after this, trying to limit available points. Wildcat guard Kaiija Lesane hit two free throws before halftime to tie the game at 27. During the third quarter, the Vikings went up by 5 points, the biggest lead of the quarter. The Wildcats responded with a 9–3 run that started with two free throws from Charlotte Hegvold.

Going into the fourth, the Wildcats were up by 3 points. Not wanting to have the Vikings’ shooters let loose from 3-point range, Jadyn Matthews said that the Wildcats used a defensively-minded strategy to pull away in the fourth quarter. Weber State took advantage of their scoring momentum, going on an 11–2 run during the fourth quarter and hitting clutch-free throws to seal the victory.

“In this game, we were composed the entire time down the stretch, which was really important,” Wildcat head coach Velaida Harris said. “I’m proud of them for making that change.”

Forward Matthews led the Wildcats with 21 points, shooting 9 of 15 from the field. The second-leading scorer was guard Lesane with 10 points. The game’s statistics demonstrate how competitive it truly was, consisting of 12 lead changes and 11 ties throughout the match.

Harris said they gave up corner 3-pointers on a drive drift action. They got stops to help them pull away in this game when they corrected that.

Finishing their regular season, the Wildcats are hoping to sweep Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington, on Feb. 23 and the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, on Feb 25.