WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TRIUMPHS OVER NORTHERN ARIZONA
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team improved to 7-1 at home this season with a 73-67 victory over Northern Arizona in a Big Sky Conference game on Thursday night at The Nest.
Megan Kritscher scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a win against NAU.
The Hornets (11-8, 6-4 Big Sky) moved to fifth in the conference standings with the win while the Lumberjacks (4-15, 3-7) fell to ninth.
Sacramento State was in charge early and led by as much as 19 points in the first half before taking a 38-26 lead into halftime. Northern Arizona charged back in the second half and eventually took its first and only lead of the game, 55-54, with 11:26 remaining in the game.
Alle Moreno hit a big 3-pointer to put the Hornets back up by five at 62-57 with 7:53 left on the clock and the Hornets never led by less than three points for the rest of the game. Up by three with 23 seconds left, Fantasia Hilliard hit a pair of clutch free throws to ice the game.
Despite shooting just 25.7 percent in the second half, the Hornets were able to hold off the Lumberjacks by knocking down 14 free throws in the period.
It was an incredibly balanced effort for the Hornets, as five players scored either 11 or 12 points. Megan Kritscher, Se'nyce Parrish and Mallorie Franco each tied for the team lead with 12 points while Hilliard and Moreno both finished with 11. Kylie Kuhns, the Big Sky leader in rebounds per game, pulled down a team-high 15 boards to pace the Hornets on the glass.
Kritscher, who is fourth in the nation in blocked shots at 3.7 per game, finished with five rejections against Northern Arizona.
Amy Patton, the Big Sky leader in points per game at 19.7 entering Thursday night's contest, finished with 14 points but grabbed a whopping 18 rebounds. Amanda Frost led the Lumberjacks with a game-high 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting.
Sacramento State shot 34.7 percent overall on 25-of-72 shooting, including 7-of-25 from 3-point range. The Hornets snagged 49 rebounds, committed 11 turnovers and tallied 17 assists. They went 16-of-24 at the free throw line.
Northern Arizona also shot 34.7 percent from the field on an identical 25-of-72 shooting, with 5-of-20 coming from beyond the arc. The Lumberjacks grabbed 51 rebounds and were pressured into 16 turnovers with 13 assists. They went 12-of-15 at the free throw line.
The Hornets will play another home game this weekend, with Southern Utah coming to The Nest on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off. After the game against the Thunderbirds, the women's basketball team will host its annual alumni game. Fans are encouraged to stick around for the event.