Women's Basketball: 'Cats Fall to 'Jacks in First Round
(Photo courtesy of Weber State Athletics)
By Joe Traub
Playing from behind the entire night, the Weber State women’s basketball team never gave in, but in the end Northern Arizona was too much. Behind a sharpshooting three point attack, the Lumberjacks took down the Wildcats 82-68 in the first round of the Big Sky Conference tournament Monday night at Idaho Central Arena in Boise.
The ‘Cats started slow as they trailed 39-26 at halftime, but picked up the pace with a 24-point third quarter. However, the problem was that NAU put up 27 of their own in the third to go in front by 16. Weber State was unable to cut the deficit to single digits at any point in the second half.
The Wildcats were led by Jadyn Matthews, who scored 17 points to tie a career-high set just last week against Northern Colorado, while chipping in six rebounds. Aloma Solovi and Daryn Hickok each scored 13 points and Emma Torbert put up 12, with Hickok and Torbert each grabbing seven boards.
Weber State dropped their conference tournament opener for a fourth consecutive season. In the previous two years, they finished in last place and were the eleventh seed, but put up a ferocious battle both times only to drop heartbreakers against Eastern Washington and Southern Utah. The ‘Cats were seeded tenth this year by virtue of sweeping last-place Sacramento State in a two-game home series in late February.
Prior to the tournament getting underway, Hickok received honors as the Big Sky Conference rolled out their end-of-season awards. The sophomore was named an honorable mention for the all-conference teams. Including Monday’s finale, Hickok led the team with an average of 12.7 points per game while playing in all 22 contests, 15 of them as a starter.
The Wildcats end the season with a 2-20 record, the third straight sub-.500 campaign for the program. Back-to-back victories over the Hornets to close the home slate marked the first time Weber State won consecutive games since a three-game streak at the end of the 2017-18 regular season, when the ‘Cats took down Idaho, Montana and Montana State in succession.