WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS TO IDAHO STATE IN BIG SKY TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS
POCATELLO, Idaho - The No. 6 seeded Sacramento State women's basketball team led by one at halftime, but Idaho State rallied with a big second half and the Bengals defeated the Hornets, 70-57, in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament on Friday night at Reed Gym.
Emily Christensen had a team-high 12 points in her final game with the Hornets.
The Hornets (13-18) made just six baskets in the second half and shot 26.1 percent from the floor while the Bengals (23-7) made 13 hoops and shot 40.6 percent after the break.
"I thought we fought hard tonight," said head coach Jamie Craighead. "We were cold offensively (in the second half), but it was a great job by my team to get this far and play the home team on their home court. That’s always tough."
Sacramento State upset No. 3 seed Eastern Washington in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament on Thursday. It was the first Big Sky Tournament win in school history and the fifth straight overall for the Hornets, but the Bengals stopped the cinderella story in its tracks.
Natasha Torgerson scored the last five points of the first half to give the Hornets a 37-36 advantage heading into the locker room. But after the break, Bengals outscored the Hornets, 21-8, over the first 10 minutes of the second half and 34-20 overall after halftime.
Emily Christensen, the lone senior on the roster, had 10 points at halftime and finished with a team-best 12. Christensen ends her stellar career as just the sixth player in school history to reach 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
"We are going to miss Emily Christensen a lot," Craighead added. "But we have a lot to build on, losing just one senior. The future is bright."
Kylie Kuhns and Alle Moreno each had 10 points while Torgerson finished with eight. Kuhns had just six rebounds against the Bengals and she finishes her junior season with an amazing 21 double-doubles.
The balanced Bengals had five players score in double figures, led by Lindsey Reed's game-high 17 points. Cydney Horton had 15 points, Ashleigh Vella and Chelsea Pickering had 13 each while Kaela Oakes had 10 points. Reed also had 11 boards for a double-double.
Sacramento State shot 35.7 percent overall on 20-of-56 shooting, including 7-of-23 from 3-point range. The Hornets snagged 36 rebounds, committed 17 turnovers and had nine assists. They went 10-of-20 at the free throw line.
Idaho State shot 40.9 percent from the field on 27-of-66 shooting, with 6-of-17 coming from beyond the arc. The Bengals grabbed 48 rebounds, were pressured into 18 turnovers and had 15 assists. They went 10-of-14 at the free throw line.
The Hornets end their 2011-12 season with nine more wins overall and six more league victories than last year's output.