Wednesday , March 07, 2018 - 7:30 PM
RENO, Nev. — Weber State women’s basketball saw a 25-point, third-quarter lead erased by Idaho State on Wednesday in the Big Sky tournament quarterfinals.
When the dust settled after the thrilling track meet, Idaho State had claimed a 113-109 overtime win in a comeback scene WSU experienced more times than it would like this season.
With 20 seconds left in overtime and trailing 110-107 coming out of a timeout, WSU senior Larryn Brooks received the inbound pass and took an off-balanced shot that was both short and off line.
The Bengals took a two-possession lead after Estefania Ors went 1 of 2 at the stripe with 14 seconds to play.
After two missed shots from the Wildcats on the ensuing possession, Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman was fouled while grabbing an offensive rebound with just less than three seconds on the clock. She made both free throws to make it 111-109.
WSU’s Briana Gray skied for an interception on Idaho State’s ensuing, deep inbound pass, but it was just out of reach. Bengal guard Dora Goles took the touchdown pass over the defense and layed in a buzzer-beating score to end the game.
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The Wildcats have not advanced to the tournament semifinals in seven seasons under coach Bethann Ord. The loss marked the third time Weber State gave up a lead of 15 points or more in the second half to a Big Sky opponent.
Drake tallied 22 points at halftime and was 6 of 7 from deep, but saw limited touches in the second half.
“It’s tournament time and they call it March Madness for a reason,” Drake said. “We knew we had to battle in that second half. When things started to turn, we needed to come together and I felt like we did a good job of handling their runs — and then it just came down to the end, and we didn’t end up on top.”
Idaho State had six players score more than 14 points, with Saylair Grandon scoring 28 points — 22 of which came in the second half and overtime.
Everything clicked for WSU in the first 20 minutes. The Wildcats jumped to a 15-5 lead and looked unstoppable. Brooks ended the half by casting up a 3 after being cornered in the final seconds. It swished through, she gave a shruge to her bench and Weber State took a 55-34 advantage into halftime.
“In the locker room, it was pretty glum at halftime,” ISU head coach Seton Sobolewski said. “We talked about if this is going to be our last game this season, is this how you want it to go? I think they made a decision ... Weber played extremely well. Jaimoni was unbelievable. Drake was incredible.”
Drake knocked down a pair of 3s early in the third quarter to push Weber’s lead to 63-38.
The Bengals, who tout the best defensive team in the conference, changed their gameplan at halftime from trying to stop the Wildcats to matching their offensive output.
Shots began to fall inside and out for ISU — which shot a blistering 25 of 35 in the second half — while the Wildcats committed 12 of their 13 turnovers in the final three periods, leading to 26 points.
“We came out screaming. Just playing terrific,” Ord said. “As we know, it’s four quarters. Idaho State is never going to stop playing hard. They just laid it out there.
“I think we didn’t continue to do what we do by attacking. It’s 40 minutes. Idaho State never backed down.”
Weber State finished its season with a record of 20-10.
Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at email@example.com, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.
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