Wildcats fall to Lumberjacks in Arizona, Remain Winless in Big Sky Play

Last week the Weber State University women’s basketball team traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona looking for its first win in six weeks, but poor shooting in the second half hurt the Wildcats, as they fell to the Northern Ariz., Lumberjacks 71-58.

From the start, both teams kept the score close, as neither team held a lead greater than four points through the first 10 minutes of the half. With a little over seven minutes left in the half, the Wildcats began to break away, scoring seven unanswered points.

The Lumberjacks began to come back, and with just under four minutes to play, NAU tied the score at 29-29. Over the final minutes of the half, WSU and NAU battled back and forth, with neither team taking a strong advantage, and they went into the locker rooms at half time with the Lumberjacks up 38-36.

During the first half, the Wildcats were making  51 percent of their shots, one of their best performances of the season.

At the start of the second half, NAU quickly jumped out to an eight point lead, but the Wildcats managed to get within two points with 15:36 left in the game. But the Wildcats couldn’t put it all together as they watched the Lumberjacks pull away, putting up a 10 point advantage with a little over nine minutes left to play.

WSU went on another run and managed to cut the deficit to six, but that was as close as the Wildcats got. They fell 71-58.

After starting out the first half shooting 51.6 percent, the Wildcats made only eight of their shots in the second half, shooting 27.6 percent.

Following the game, Head Coach Bethann Ord said that two of the big things that the team needs to improve upon were pulling down rebounds and defensive stops.

“We need to do a better job of getting rebounds and not giving the other team second and third opportunities,” Ord said.

Ord also said that limiting turnovers are something the team needs to work as well. The Wildcats turned the ball over 15 times during Thursday’s loss.

Despite their shooting woes, WSU had four players score double digit points. Junior Megan Patterson led the team with a game high 14 points, while junior Shawnte Taylor and senior Mikell Woodfield added 11 and 12 points respectively. Junior Amanda Hughes put up 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double on the season.

“Amanda has been playing fantastic,” Ord said. “She has really stepped up her game.”

Despite her strong performance in the game, Hughes was disappointed by the loss.

“We didn’t pull though and get the win like the game plan was,” she said.

Hughes says that the team needs to keep working on battling at both ends of the court.

The Wildcats next games will be at home, after a four-game road trip. Thursday night they will host the Sacramento State University Hornets, and then on Saturday afternoon they’ll go up against the Idaho State Bengals.

Hughes said the team is looking forward to the two home games and is hopeful of getting its first conference win.

“We’re gonna work hard in practice and hopefully come out with that win,” Hughes said.