by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics
Northern Colorado Weber State Preview
The Weber State Wildcats will continue their home stand against the Northern Colorado Bears, looking to get back on track after a disappointing defeat. The ‘Cats hope to take advantage of the Bears in their recent struggles, Northern Colorado dropping their last three contests.
The Wildcats are 5-17 on the season and are the bottom-feeders of the Big Sky at 1-9; the Bears’ fate is similar at 10-12, sitting at 3-8 in the conference and second-to-last.
After a grueling defeat Saturday, the ‘Cats match up against one of the teams they least want to face. While the Bears have struggled this year, especially as of late, Northern Colorado had their number in their previous duel.
The Bears kept Weber State to 39 points on December 29, their lowest scoring mark on the year, and their rematch comes shortly after a poor Wildcat offensive performance. In their last duel, the ‘Cats were physically dominated, being held to 23 rebounds and turning the ball over 22 times. Jadyn Matthews was the only Wildcat to have a decent night as everyone else was contained.
Northern Colorado had four players surpass the double-digit mark, but Weber State will be looking to maintain its offense better at the Dee Events Center. The home-court advantage could be enough to swing momentum the Wildcats’ way, especially given the recent struggle from the Bears.
Who to Watch
For the ‘Cats, watch for Jadyn Matthews and Daryn Hickok. The two leaders of this offensive charge showed precious little against Idaho State Saturday, but they will aim to turn it around in a winnable game. The duo combines for 30.1 PPG and is also the rebounding spark for this team, combining for 13.9 RPG. Northern Colorado’s offense (62.5 PPG) only ranks seventh in the Big Sky – slightly more efficient than Weber State’s (58.8 PPG) ninth-ranked offense – so one dominant performance from the duo can shift the tides.
For the Bears, look for Hannah Simental and Aniah Hall. Simental is the leading scorer for Northern Colorado, aiming to get her team back in the win column after three straight defeats, and has been proficient from three all season. Hall, on the other hand, only averages 5.3 PPG but dominated the ‘Cats with 14 in their last battle. Weber State will strive to slow down her scoring this time around.
Weber State will look to essentially do the opposite of what they did last time against the Bears. They shot poorly, rebounded poorly, didn’t move the ball well, and turned it over too much – despite winning the turnover battle 23-22. Shooting 21.7% from the field is abysmal, and this team can’t afford a repeat performance like this. The ‘Cats need to tap into what worked in their previous victory against Eastern Washington, where they spread the ball well and got the whole roster involved in the offense to redeem their last loss.
The Wildcats will host Northern Colorado at 6 pm MST Monday in hopes to right the ship.
Stay up-to-date on the latest in Weber State Basketball here at The Hive Sports, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.