Let the season begin.
The Weber State University women’s basketball team opens up its 2012-13 season on Friday afternoon when the Wildcats take a trip south to take on in-state rival Brigham Young University.
Tipoff between the Wildcats and Cougars is set for 3 p.m. at the Marriott Center, with the game scheduled to be televised live on BYUtv.
Weber State will beginning its second season under coach Bethann Ord, with just five returning players and 11 newcomers dotting the roster for the Purple and White.
Senior forward Amanda Hughes is Weber State’s top returning scorer and rebounding from last season, when the Arvada, Colo., native averaged 10.2 points and 9.1 rebounds. Hughes, who set a Big Sky Conference single-game record last season against Northern Arizona when she pulled down 24 rebounds, shot 42.6 percent from the field while playing an average of 26.4 minutes last year.
Also returning is junior guard Laura Palmere, senior guard Kia Rhodes, and sophomore guards Brianna Averette and Carlee Lough. Palmere has averaged 11.5 points during the Wildcats’ two-game exhibition season, while Lough had 14 in a 78-48 win over Concordia.
The Wildcats have also gotten strong play out of their freshmen and newcomers. Freshman forward Kalie Matthews rang up a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes against Concordia, while freshman center Jalen Carpenter had 12 rebounds against the Cavaliers.
Freshman guard Regina Okoye had 20 points and five steals in just 19 minutes of court time during Weber State’s exhibition game on Monday against Adams State.
The Wildcats will also be facing a tall task in their opener as they face a BYU team that is coming off a West Coast Conference championship season with a 26-7 overall mark in 2011-12, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Weber State’s men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball teams have a combined record of 1-76 against BYU in Provo, Utah. The lone win came from the women’s basketball team who beat BYU 93-87 in overtime in 1989.
After Friday game, Weber State will open up the home portion of its schedule on Nov. 15 against Boise State.