Women's basketball to host Sacramento State

(Source: UM Athletics)
Weber State University forward Kalie Matthews goes up for a rebound in a game earlier this season. The Wildcats will host California State University, Sacramento on Saturday.

After starting the Big Sky Conference with a majority of its games on the road, the Weber State University women’s basketball team will now take on  the back end of its conference schedule with home games in eight of its last 12 games.

One of the key home games starts with California State University, Sacramento coming to town Saturday. The Hornets have found their rhythm recently, after losing three straight games early in conference play. The Wildcats will enter the game trying to find their footing and balance as the season progresses.

The Hornets will come in after two wins last week over the University of North Dakota and the University of Northern Colorado — not that winning was enough. They set a new Big Sky single-game record for most points in a game by scoring 110 points. They will come in averaging 90.5 points per game, nearly 20 points more than other team in the Big Sky.

With that much scoring going on, some might suspect they would have the leading scorer in the conference, but the team is built on a balanced attack. The team is led by Alle Moreno, who averages a team-high 14.3 per game, but she is only one of five players who are averaging double digits for the season.

(Source: UM Athletics)
Weber State University sophomore Desiree Ramos goes for a steal in a game earlier this season. Ramos leads the Wildcats in scoring, averaging 13 points per game.

WSU head coach Bethann Ord said she thinks her team is finding its stride and can challenge some of the best teams in the conference.

“Like I have said all season, we just need to play a full game and compete for 40 minutes,” Ord said. “Once we figure it out, we are going to be scary. But I know that we are excited to be back home and play in front of our fans; they are always great.”

The Wildcats will enter the game on a different note from the Hornets. They have lost 10 games in a row after a 4-3 start. Averaging 67.3 points a game, with a majority of those points coming in the second half, the Wildcats have put themselves in positions to win throughout the season.

Leading the charge for the Wildcats is Desiree Ramos, who is coming off a 17-point performance against the University of Montana last week. Ramos leads the team in scoring with 13.3 per game. Amanda Hughes is averaging just less than 13, with 12.5 per game.

Both players have put in great performances in the past couple of weeks, but if the Wildcats are to succeed, they are going to need continued support from their bench players like Regina Okoye, Elizabeth Mounier and Kalie Matthews. It will be a total team effort on both sides of the ball if the Wildcats are going to stop the balanced scoring attack of the Hornets.

Ramos agreed with Ord that the team is close to getting that win and a huge momentum boost for the rest of the season. A win against the Hornets could change the whole outcome of the season.

“We just need to figure out how to close out those close games more,” Ramos said. “Once we learn how to do that, we are going to be unstoppable.”

Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for 2 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.