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Coming off one of its best weeks in a few years, the Weber State University women’s basketball team will head to Flagstaff, Ariz., for its last road game of the year. The Wildcats look to avenge the 96-87 loss they suffered early this season to the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks.
The Wildcats will enter the game having won two of their last three games, but the Lumberjacks have been a tough team to beat, especially on the road. Road wins have evaded the Wildcats all season, but they look to close the season on a high note, trying to build off their recent success.
“I am so proud of my players, because they have never given up and have kept their head up and kept battling,” said WSU head coach Bethann Ord. “It is always easy when you are winning, but I feel our girls have done a great job all season with their attitudes and staying positive.”
Desiree Ramos will enter the game averaging a solid 13.5 points per game on just more than 11 shots a game. While Ramos has been making clutch shots and forcing turnovers, the play of Kalie Matthews has given the team a boost it may have lacked earlier in conference play. With her minutes increasing, so has her productivity, whether it be coming of the bench or as a starter.
“Now we are scratching to get our way into the tournament, which can happen if we win these next few games,” Matthews said. “We know how good we can be and (how well we) are playing right now, but it just comes down to putting two and two together.”
In the past three games, Matthews averaged just more than eight rebounds and 10 points per game. The play of Brianna Averette has been another bright spot for the Wildcats. She has become the best free-throw shooter on the team, averaging just about 92 percent.
With the return of Amanda Hughes after a one-game suspension, the Wildcats have seemed to find the team chemistry that many expected from the start of the season.
“I think that is has been really meshing together and not playing individual basketball, but playing as a team,” Matthews said. “Even though everyone’s individual skills have gotten better, I just feel that our team chemistry has just helped us blossom.”
The Wildcats are going to have to defend one of the best scorers not only in the Big Sky but in the nation. Amanda Frost will come into the game averaging 21.7 points per game. In her first meeting with WSU, Frost stayed true to that. She scored 21 points in limited minutes due to foul trouble.
Shutting out Frost won’t guarantee WSU victory, as NAU has two other players who average in double figures, Erikka Banks and Brittani Lusain. That three-headed monster could make for a long night, but the Wildcats have shown they are a different team than the last time these two teams met.
Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Walkup Skydome. The game will be broadcast on the BigSkyTV app.