Weber State has started the year playing competitive basketball and is off to its best start in several years under Head Coach Velaida Harris. This matchup against (7-1) Colorado State Rams team was a matchup on Wednesday we were looking forward to watching.
From the jump, Colorado State took control taking advantage of the Wildcat’s 8 first quarter turnovers and poor shooting (25% on 3-12 shooting). The second quarter did not treat the Wildcats any better turning the ball over another 5 times and only shooting 33% on 5-15 from the floor. The Rams went into half leading 37-22.
The second half was more of the same as the Rams were paced by 4 players in double figures. McKenna Hofschild (23 points on 9-14 from the floor and 5 assists) got the Rams going early in the 3rd with a steal and a layup, then continued to score in a variety of ways throughout the second half. Upe Atosu (16 points on 5-12 from the floor) and Kendyll Kinzer (13 points on 5-10 shooting from the floor and 7 rebounds) were also problems for the Wildcats. Those three combined for 7 three-pointers on 7-16 from beyond the arch. The Rams also had a solid game off the bench from Cali Clark (12 points on 5-7 shooting and 6 rebounds).
While the Wildcats have the size to match up with bigger conference schools especially in the front line, but Emma Torbert (5 points on 2-8 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 3 TOs) and Jadyn Mattews (6 points on 3-10 shooting, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 TO’s) did very little to help the Wildcats on the interior against the much quicker Rams. The Wildcats out rebounded the Rams by 11 (43-32), but turnovers (20 turnovers lead to 19 CSU points), poor shooting, and defensive mistakes did not allow Weber State any opportunity to make a run.
The Wildcat offense has some sets and concepts that are solid, but poor shooting and oftentimes lack of cohesion and flow limit their ability to take advantage of the DHO, P&R, and Pitch actions there are looking to take advantage of. The Wildcats poor 3 point shooting (25.5% for the year) also allows teams to sag off of players, go under a lot of DHO and P&R actions and plug up the paint. In our film breakdown, we will show you some of the actions they like to run.
Daryn Hickock finished 22 points on 8-11 shooting and 11 rebounds (7 offensive). While Jadyn Mattews has been leading the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding, Daryn Hickock’s energy and motor are what stood out in last night’s game. It will be an interesting few months for Coach Velaida and her staff as they try to make a push to finish in the upper half of the conference.