by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Weber State Athletics
Weber State Northern Colorado Tournament Recap
The season ends for the #10 Weber State Wildcats after losing to the #9 Northern Colorado Bears 63-52 in Boise. WSU stumbled early and could never regain their balance, ultimately ending their season if the first round of the Big Sky Tournament.
It was not the season they hoped for, but the Wildcats showed flashes of greatness, continuing to push forward in the face of adversity and battling until the very end.
Daryn Hickok and Jadyn Matthews led WSU in scoring as they have on many occasions throughout the campaign. Hickok was the team leader in points despite her struggles on the field. Weber State’s top producer garnered a double-double with 15 points and ten rebounds, shooting one of eight from the field but draining 13 of her 16 attempts from the free-throw line. Matthews was more lethal from the field, though, with her seven of 15 shooting efficiency, but wasn’t as effective in the pain, only securing three rebounds. She made her presence felt on defense, though, snagging three steals in the effort.
Delaynie Byrne wreaked havoc once again against Weber State. Northern Colorado’s ace was unstoppable on Saturday in Boise, scoring 29 points with five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Byrne shot seven of 12 from the field and spent a great deal of time at the line, hitting 13 of her 14 free throws. Hannah Simental was the perfect Robin to Byrne’s Batman, scoring 19 points on 80% shooting.
A poor second half from the Wildcats put the Ogden natives in a bind entering the second half. Though they made a push in the fourth quarter to narrow the deficit to four with 5:58 remaining, their rally wouldn’t come to fruition. WSU converted poorly from the field (29.6%) and from three (26.7%) against the third-ranked Bears’ defense, which stunted their production early on.
However, Weber State played physically, snagging 15 offensive rebounds that helped them keep the game within striking distance late. Sharpshooter Laura Taylor also had a noteworthy performance, scoring 11 while shooting efficiently from three (42.9%).
Weber State’s defense had a pretty hit-or-miss performance. They won the rebounding and turnover battles, applying the pressure against Northern Colorado’s offense, but couldn’t stop them from the field. The Bears shot 55.9%, including an even 50% from three. They came in ready to play, making the most of their first round of the tournament.
It was a journey for the Wildcats to get here. This is never the result a team goes out and hopes for or even expects, but they made things interesting, fighting until the final whistle. There are bright futures ahead for the women of Weber State, and they deserve all the best moving forward – whether with the team or in future endeavors. We Are Weber.
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|Weber State Starters||PTS||REB||AST||FG||3PT||MIN|
|Daryn Hickok, F||15||10||1||1-8||0-1||36|
|Jadyn Matthews, F||14||3||1||7-15||0-0||36|
|Aaliyah Ellis, G||7||0||0||2-6||1-3||17|
|Ava Williams, G||2||4||1||1-6||0-1||35|
|Charlotte Hegvold, G||0||1||1||0-3||0-3||23|
|Laura Taylor, G||11||1||0||4-8||3-7||29|
|Kaiija Lesane, G||2||2||1||1-8||0-0||16|
|Vicky Parra, F||1||3||0||0-0||0-0||8|
|Amelia Raidaveta, F||0||0||0||0-0||0-0||0|
|Tamalii Fonoti, C||0||0||0||0-0||0-0||0|
|Nakilah Johnson, G||0||0||0||0-0||0-0||0|
|Emri Lovell, G||0||0||0||0-0||0-0||0|
|Northern Colorado Starters||PTS||REB||AST||FG||3PT||MIN|
|Delaynie Byrne, F||29||5||0||7-12||2-4||36|
|Hannah Simental, G||19||1||3||8-10||2-3||32|
|Averee Kleinhans, G||8||9||6||2-6||0-2||32|
|Gabi Field, G||5||1||0||1-2||1-1||31|
|Sydney Stensgard, G||0||1||0||0-0||0-0||11|
|Aniah Hall, F||2||6||1||1-3||0-0||15|
|Lauren Andrews, F||0||3||1||0-0||0-0||20|
|Avery Bang, F||0||0||0||0-1||0-0||3|
|Lilah Moore, F||0||0||0||0-0||0-0||5|
|Paisley Specht, F||0||1||0||0-0||0-0||8|
|Luka Malinka, G||0||0||0||0-0||0-0||5|