Weber State vs. UC Riverside 08

Weber State's Emily Drake (20) shoots the ball while defended by UC Riverside's Marina Ewodo (2) in the second half of an NCAA women's basketball game Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.

OGDEN — Seeking its first win in five Big Sky tries, Weber State women's basketball came out to battle Thursday night against an experienced Idaho State squad.

If not for sharpshooting senior Saylair Grandon, the Wildcats might have found the win column.

Grandon scored 11 points in about five minutes of play, keying what became a 28-7 run for the visiting Bengals who held on for a 70-57 win over Weber State at the Dee Events Center.

Grandon hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the first half, then drained a tough stepback jumper to end the half and put Idaho State up 43-30, matching what became the game's final margin.

That came in what WSU head coach Velaida Harris sees as a consistent struggle with her team.

"There's always a stretch in the second quarter where we have lapses," Harris said. "We get to a stretch where we have our starters in and, do we keep them in longer or can we rely on some consistency off the bench? That's the battle right now."

Grandon opened the second half converting a three-point play after a foul in a run that put the Bengals (9-5, 4-1 Big Sky) up 51-30. Grandon finished with 18 points. Estefania Ors added 23 points for ISU to lead all scorers.

Weber State (3-12, 0-5) didn't give up, however. To open the fourth quarter, Dominique Williams connected on a 3-pointer, Kori Pentzer drew a charge and Williams converted a tough drive and scoop.

Emily Drake missed on a drive but grabbed the rebound and put it in, finishing a 9-0 Wildcats run to cut the deficit to 57-51 with 6:25 left.

But the Bengals withstood it. Weber senior Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman converted a three-point play to bring the deficit back to eight with 2:47 left, but it got no closer.

Drake hit a pair of 3s and was 8 of 8 from the foul line to score 22 for WSU. Welch-Coleman added 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Weber State hosts a hot Portland State (10-2, 2-1) team Saturday looking to break a nine-game losing streak.

"What I do appreciate about this team is they listen, they trust and they believe," Harris said. "This is what you get with a young team ... I appreciate their attitudes and their effort and their want."

Contact Brett Hein at bhein@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @bhein3/@WeberHQ and at facebook.com/WeberStateSports.

Brett Hein is the sports editor and covers Weber State sports for the Standard-Examiner.

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