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The Weber State University women’s basketball team has found itself at the wrong side of some close games in the past few weeks, but the Wildcats aim to put those behind them as they return home for a four-game home stand. The Wildcats will enter the weekend looking to snap a current 14-game losing streak, which includes all 12 games in Big Sky Conference play.
The Wildcats haven’t tasted victory since winning their first four home games. Coach Bethann Ord said she is confident the team is going to return to its early-season form and get back to winning ways.
“I am so proud of the girls, not only because they are playing and practicing hard,” Ord said. “It isn’t easy to stay together when you struggle during the season, but these girls are doing a great job.”
The Wildcats will first turn their attention to Southern Utah University, which won the first meeting of these two teams earlier in the year 76-64. SUU is currently tied for second place in conference with the University of Montana at a record of 8-4.
SUU will come in having won five of its last six games, led by Hailey Mandelko, who comes in averaging 14.5 points in conference play. Mandelko leads a team that comes in averaging 76 points a game while holding their opponents to less than 70 points.
One of the reasons SUU has found a great bit of success this season is that seven different players have led it in scoring throughout the season. It has three players who average above 10 points per game, with two others just below.
One of WSU’s leading players, Amanda Hughes, will sit out the game versus SUU after receiving disciplinary action from the Big Sky in a game against the University of Northern Colorado on Saturday. Hughes allegedly attempted to strike a UNC player early in the second half of a 70-63 loss for the Wildcats.
On President’s Day, the Wildcats will welcome Idaho State University. WSU will look to avenge a last-second loss at the hand of the Bengals.
ISU will come into the game off a loss to the conference-leading University of North Dakota, but before that loss, the Bengals had won four straight games.
The Bengals are led by Lindsey Reed, who has been scoring in bunches, averaging 16.2 points per game in conference action. She is one player the Wildcats cannot afford to leave open on the perimeter, because she will make them pay.
Reed’s partner in crime, Jessica Tingey, comes in averaging 11.5 points and leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game. This one-two punch is something the Wildcats will have to contain if they are to put themselves in a position to beat their rival.
If the Wildcats are going to end their skid, leading scorers Desiree Ramos and Hughes will have to continue their strong play. Ramos comes in averaging a team-high 13 points per game and 4.9 assists a game, while Hughes isn’t far behind with 12.8 points per game. Hughes also leads the team in rebounding with 6.1 per game.
Defenses have started to pay more attention to Ramos. Some teams are even throwing double teams her way. But she said the best is yet to come and the Wildcats have goals they have yet to reach.
“I feel like I can step up more as a leader and put my teammates in better positions on the court,” Ramos said. “I still have goals. I feel like I haven’t reached where I want to be yet.”
Tipoff for Saturday’s game against SUU is set for 2 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.