by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics
Idaho Weber State Preview
The Weber State Wildcats return home to face off against the Idaho Vandals, looking to snap their 11-game losing streak. The homecoming will be much-needed for the ‘Cats, shooting to secure their first conference win of the season.
Weber State comes into play with a 4-15 record, placing dead last in the Big Sky after dropping their first seven games in conference play; the Vandals enter the Dee Events Center with a six-game losing streak leading to a 6-13 record, their 2-6 conference record sending them to ninth in the standings.
Who to Watch
There are three players to watch for the Wildcats in Thursday’s contest. Daryn Hickok is the first name for Weber State, being the top scorer on the roster. The star forward has averaged 17.9 points per game this season and continues to impress no matter the matchup. In her previous performance against Sacramento State, Hickok had a team-high 20 points against the top team in the Big Sky and a defensive powerhouse.
Jadyn Matthews is another name to look for in the midday affair. Matthews is a scoring threat but is also the team’s leading rebounder. She boasts an impressive 13.6 PPG and 8.2 RPG, being one of the signature Wildcat performers. Weber State will need her aggressive and dominating play to pull out a home victory.
The final player to watch for the Wildcats is Laura Taylor. Despite coming off the bench in their previous affair, Taylor produced six points on her two-of-two three-point shooting. The Vandals allow teams to shoot well from the floor, making Taylor a vital weapon in a desperately-needed offensive bounceback.
For Idaho, watch out for Beyonce Bea. The guard has been a threat on offense all season with her 22 PPG, good for seventh in the country. If the ‘Cats can stop her, this Vandal offense will be crippled, making her the top priority coming in.
The Wildcats are in dire need of a bounce-back game offensively. After a suboptimal 44-point performance in their previous go, the ‘Cats have averaged 57.8 PPG since the new year. Fortunately, the Vandals do not have the most efficient defense in the conference, allowing the second-most points (74.4 PPG) in the Big Sky. Teams shoot well against them, and Weber State can use this momentum to come away with a win and find their groove again.
To Board or Not to Board
Now more than ever, the Wildcats need to be able to rebound the ball well. Although the Vandals rebound the ball 33.5 times to the 36.2 of Weber State, they allow opponents to snag the ball an astronomical 44.6 times per game. For a team that hasn’t found its offensive rhythm in quite some time, they need to give themselves ample opportunities, especially against a team with such a lackluster defensive front.
The ‘Cats will be ready for the Vandals at the Dee Events Center, playing for their first conference win at 11:30 am MST Thursday.
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