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The Weber State University women’s basketball team endured a difficult loss on Tuesday night against the University of New Mexico.
The Wildcats entered the game looking for their first win of the season. After earning two solid victories in its preseason games earlier this month, the team opened the season with four straight losses.
The Wildcats got off to a good start against the Lobos. The teams stayed relatively well matched and scored evenly during the first 10 minutes of the first half. WSU was within five points of UNM at the 10-minute marker with a score of 16-11.
The last minutes of the first half proved to bring a challenge for the Wildcats. After the Lobos scored 11 unanswered points, the momentum stayed their way until halftime. This resulted in a score of 33-18 and a 15-point scoring gap at the end of the half for WSU.
WSU went 7-for-33 in shooting during the first half, 3-for-4 from the free-throw line, and 1-for-11 from behind the 3-point line. The Lobos shot 13-for-30 from the floor, including 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.
Scoring was evenly dispersed throughout the Wildcat roster in the first half. WSU sophomore Carlee Lough and freshman Regina Okoye each had four points for the team, followed by three points from junior Brittney Newcomb and three points added by freshman Grace Farnsworth.
During the second half, scoring went back and forth between the two teams. WSU, however, was unable to make up the difference created during the first half. Although the Wildcats’ play improved coming into the last half of the game, the wounds were too deep. WSU fell to the Lobos with a score of 67-44.
Despite the loss, the Wildcats had noteworthy statistics. Senior forward Amanda Hughes, who scored 13 points — all in the second half — led WSU in scoring. Okoye also contributed with 10 points.
While the team was unable to come out with the win, the overall attitude of the team was hopeful and positive.
“Our transition went well, as well as rebounding and our overall toughness as a team,” Hughes said. “Overall, we battled. The energy was a little low at the beginning of the first half, but we picked it up. We had a great halftime talk about our energy level and that we needed to get it up. We saw and made a change in the second half, but overall, we just have to put two halves together and come out with a win at the end of the game.”
As the team continues to play, many of its members are identifying aspects of their game to keep them optimistic.
“I think we pushed hard and we fought back, especially in the second half,” said freshman guard Desiree Ramos. “We were getting very physical with them, and we gained momentum at times. I thought we did well just at fighting back.”
Ramos had three points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal during the game against the Lobos.
The Wildcats are now 0-5 on the season and still looking for their first win. UNM has a record of 6-1 and is known for a threatening home crowd.
“(The atmosphere) was pretty tough, but, personally, I loved it,” Ramos said. “It’s a really tough place to play in, but it’s good for us because it’s probably one of the hardest places to play in. Also, we fought back, so I’m pretty sure we’ll play just fine going against an away crowd.”
WSU will need to be ready for a few more opposing crowds and teams. The next three matches for the Wildcats will all be away from Ogden as the team continues its four-game road trip. WSU will next play an in-state matchup against Utah Valley University on Tuesday night in Orem.