OGDEN — When conference tournament time comes around each year, teams want to go in playing their best basketball. And that's exactly what Weber State's women's team is doing.

Behind 21 points from Julie Gjertsen and 17 apiece from Angela Sampson and Kristen Clyder-Gardner, the Wildcats cruised to their sixth straight victory, a 74-54 win over the Idaho State Bengals Saturday night in the Dee Events Center.

For Clyder-Gardner, the 17 points was a season high, while Sampson tied her season high. Clyder-Gardner also added 10 rebounds. It was easily the best game of the year for the two post players, and it's something Weber coach Carla Taylor has been waiting for all season long.

"The one thing I've been saying (all year) is we need more from our two senior post players," Taylor said. "I've said it from day one when we started playing. (Tonight they showed) what they're capable of."

Perhaps more impressive than Weber's offense was its defense. Idaho State entered the game as the nation's fourth best three-point shooting team. Against the Wildcats, however, the Bengals hit only 3-of-30 shots from behind the arc and shot just 24 percent overall.

Weber also sent off its five seniors in style. Sampson, Clyder-Gardner, Kristen Hesselbach and Marci Mickelsen all saw plenty of action in their final game in front of the home crowd. Fellow senior Lindsey Hille was unable to play due to an injury that she suffered over a month ago.

And speaking of crowds, the 1,853 in attendance on Saturday was the largest Dee Events Center crowd ever to watch a Weber State women's game. Taylor and the players certainly noticed.

"What a neat tribute to have that many fans to break the record and send off our five seniors with a win like that," Taylor said. "To play that complete of a game as well as have that atmosphere from the crowd was awesome. I just can't say enough of the difference that it makes when you've got that many people in the stands. It's like a sixth man for your team — sixth woman in our case.

It was really loud and they were into it. The excitement of college women's basketball; there it was, right here in our own little arena."

The win gives WSU a 17-10 overall record, and at 11-3, the 'Cats finish the conference season tied for second place with these same Bengals. Because Idaho State (19-7) has a better RPI rating than Weber, the Bengals will go into next weekend's tournament as the league's No. 2 seed and will have a first-round bye, as will top-seeded and undefeated Montana.

Weber State will play the No. 6 seed — most likely Northern Arizona — in the first round next Thursday in Missoula, Mont.

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