Women's basketball flies past Air Force

(Source: Robert Casey)
Weber State University forward Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin drives the ball in a game against the U.S. Air Force Academy on Tuesday. The Wildcats defeated the Falcons 81-69, getting their third win of the season.

After a two-game losing streak on a road trip to the East Coast, the Weber State University women’s basketball team got its third win of the season over the U.S. Air Force Academy by a score of 81-69 on Tuesday.

WSU point guard Desiree Ramos led all scorers with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, with no turnovers in the second half. The Wildcats had a balanced attack, as five other players scored in double digits.

The Wildcats started out a little rusty after the 11-day break from play, making simple mistakes such as poor passes, but were able to stay with the Falcons throughout the first half. The Wildcats’ defense struggled as well, allowing the Falcons to shoot their highest field goal percentage in the first half this season.

“We were executing, we were getting baskets, but the biggest thing was defense,” said WSU head coach Bethann Ord. “We had to tighten it up and just keep our composure.”

(Source: Robert Casey)
Weber State University guard Desiree Ramos drives the ball in a game against the U.S. Air Force Academy. Ramos led all scorers with 20 points against the Falcons on Tuesday.

The Falcons took advantage of the Wildcats and finished the half on a 12-2 run, erasing a seven-point deficit, making the halftime score 36-33. WSU only made one field goal in the last 5:50 of the half.

“We let this team get after it a little bit,” Ord said. “They fought, I’ll give it to Air Force. That was a tough team.”

The second half was a different story. The Wildcats came out swinging with a 12-3 run to regain the lead and take control of the game. Throughout the half, WSU never allowed the Falcons to score back-to-back field goals. The only time USAFA scored more than three points in a row was a series of consecutive trips at the free-throw line.

Another result of the new energy displayed in the half was the Wildcats holding the Falcons to just 34.3 percent shooting from the field, compared to 57.7 percent in the first half.

The teams exchanged buckets for a majority of the half, until WSU closed out the win with a 10-3 run, with sophomore Kalie Mathews throwing a touchdown pass to Ramos to seal the deal and get her 20th point.

“I got a lot of confidence from the team telling me to keep shooting it,” Ramos said. “It just built up, and I knocked down shots.”

Adding to the pile for WSU was Jalen Carpenter with 14 points, Matthews with 13, Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin with 12 and Amanda Hughes with 10. During one of WSU’s runs, five players contributed with only one scoring twice, demonstrating the balanced effort the Wildcats put forth.

“We’re very deep, and we can go with a lot of different players,” Ord said. “It’s nice to be deep this year. Knock on wood that it stays that way. We’ve got a lot of different options.”

The Wildcats improved to 3-2 on the season, their best start since 2008. WSU will now head on the road, this time to the West Coast, to face the University of San Diego on Dec. 1 before returning to the purple palace on Dec. 7 to take on in-state rival Utah Valley University.