Sacramento State and UC Davis first played each other this season on Nov. 27 at the Hornets Nest, with the Aggies walking out with a 58-50 win. In that game, UC Davis was led by Ellen Porshneva, who scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
The Hornets were led by senior guard Tyeisha Brown and sophomore guard Stephanie Cherry, who scored 13 points apiece. UC Davis comes into the game after losses to UC Santa Barbara, 85-67 and Long Beach State, 73-47. The Aggies are averaging 62.2 points per game, led by Porshneva''s 13.6 per game and Kimberly Smith''s 12.0. The Aggies average 20.2 turnovers per game, while Sacramento State forces opponents to commit 19.7 turnovers per game.
The game can be heard on www.hornetsports.com by clicking the Live Audio link at the top of the page and scrolling down to women''s basketball. Brian Berger will be on the mic.
A Look Back
Sacramento State won its first Big Sky Conference game of the season, with a 70-65 overtime victory over Montana State on Thursday night, before falling to Montana, the defending Big Sky champions, 70-46 on Saturday afternoon. In the win over the Bobcats, the Hornets finished with four players in double figures, led by junior forward Lindsey Heard, who scored a team and career-high 16 points, including going 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in overtime. Junior forward Katelyn Ciampi had her first double-double of the season, with a season-high 14 points and 12 rebounds (six offensive).
In Sacramento State''s loss to Montana, the Hornets fell behind early as the Grizzlies scored on their first 10 possessions of the ball game to mount a 26-4 lead. Montana''s Katie Edwards scored eight three-pointers in the first half (nine in the game) on her way to a 27-point performance. The Hornets were led by Brown, who came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points and sink a career-high three three-pointers. It was the eighth time this season and the 15th time in her career that she led or shared the team lead in scoring.
With five wins on the 2004-05 season, the Hornets are beginning to break some records from years past; five wins in 16 games is the best start for the team since the 1995-96 season...when the Hornets defeated Montana State, it was their first Big Sky win at the Nest since a 75-56 win over Portland State during the 2000-01 season...Sacramento State''s home record of 4-4 is the best for the team since the 1999-00 season...Sacramento State is undefeated, 2-0, in overtime games this season...the Hornets also set the program record for fewest opponents'' points scored when New Mexico State posted only 39 points in the Hornets'' 46-39 win on Dec. 21, 2004.
Defense, Defense, Defense
Sacramento State''s aggressive defense is paying off in a big way. The Hornets are averaging a Big Sky-leading 11.3 steals per game. The squad''s ability to wreak havoc on the defensive end of the floor extends to the entire team, with six players averaging at least 1.0 steals per game, led by Brown''s 2.4. The Vallejo, Calif. native has tallied a team-high 39 steals this season, ranking her second in the Big Sky. Sacramento State is also forcing opponents into 19.7 turnovers per game. The team is also averaging 2.75 blocks per game, third in the Big Sky.
Across The Scoreboard
Junior guard Cindy Alldrin came to Sacramento State after being named MVP of the South Division and helping Clackamas Community College to a NWAACC Championship. In 16 games as a Hornet, Alldrin registers in the top five of 10 statistical categories. She is second on the squad in scoring, averaging 7.8 points per game and is also second on the team from the free-throw line, shooting 71.8 percent (28-of-39), although Alldrin has not been to the free-throw line in the last six games. The Mountain View HS graduate is also averaging a team-high 2.6 assists per game and is third on the squad with 1.3 steals per game.
Junior forward Ashley Cadotte is pulling down a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game, and is ranked seventh overall in the conference in rebounding. She also has two 10+ rebounding games with one double-double. A hard-working, scrappy rebounder under the boards, the Oregon City, Ore., native is sixth in the conference averaging 2.6 offensive rebounds per game, helping the Hornets'' offensive rebounding average increase to 11.81 per game, fifth in the Big Sky.
Brown and Cherry have come off the bench this season to lead or share the team lead in scoring a combined 11 times. Brown leads the squad and ranks 12th in the Big Sky averaging 10.3 points per game, while Cherry is fourth on the team scoring 6.9 points per game. Cherry played 22 minutes in the Hornets'' OT win over Montana State, including handling the point guard duties down the stretch and in the extra period.
Both players finished with season highs in the 83-76 win over Ohio. The win against the Bobcats marked the first time the Hornets had scored more than 80 points against a Division I opponent since an 89-83 win over UC Riverside on Jan. 20, 2001. Cherry''s career high of 25 points was the biggest offensive output for a Hornet since Danielle Iceman scored 25 points at Montana on Jan. 26, 2002.
Also contributing from the bench this season have been Heard and freshman guard Ali Mollet. Heard is averaging 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Heard''s 67 rebounds this season rank her third on the team. Her 6-of-6 performance from the free-throw line in OT against Montana State was the best of any Hornet this season. A Kodak All-American at Umpqua CC last season, she has led the Hornets in scoring three times this season.
In her first collegiate season, Mollet has started two games this year and came off the bench in 14. Mollet had her best game of the year in a 59-58 win over UC Riverside, where she scored a career-high 10 points and dished out a career-high five assists.
Ciampi pulled down her first double-double of the season in the win over Montana State. In addition to tallying 17 steals this season, the Martinez, Calif., native has scored in double figures six times. Ciampi has now set or matched single-game career highs in minutes (39), rebounds (13), free throws attempted (9), assists (4), steals (4), blocks (3) and three-pointers made (1). She is also fourth in the Big Sky, averaging 1.1 blocks per game.
Senior forward Kristine Knowlton, the only four-year student-athlete on the team, had a season-high three blocks against Weber State, bringing her career total to 145, which ranks her first in Sacramento State Division I history and ninth all-time in the Big Sky. Sophomore guard Kim Sheehy, who is in her first year with the Hornets after redshirting last season and playing the 2002-03 season at San Jose State, has now sunk at least one three-pointer in nine-straight games, bringing her season total to a team-high 23. Senior guard Samania Black, who has started in 14-of-16 games this season dished out a season-high four steals against the Bobcats.
In the Hornets first Big Sky victory, a 70-65 victory over Montana State, Ciampi, Sheehy and Heard made free throws when it counted, combining to go 9-of-10 from the line in overtime. But on the season, Sacramento State has failed to be as successful. From the line, the team is averaging 60.4 percent (163-of-270), led by Heard who is shooting 78.3 percent (18-of-23) from the stripe.
Head Coach Dan Muscatell
Dan Muscatell became the sixth Sacramento State women''s basketball head coach in the program''s 38-year history last season, after spending four seasons as an assistant at Oregon (1999-03). He earned his first win with the Hornets on Jan. 14, 2004, with a 56-50 win at Portland State.
Muscatell has already collected five wins this season, the team''s best start since the 1995-96 season.
Sacramento State''s up-tempo defense is creating 11.3 steals per game and forcing its opponents into 19.7 turnovers per game.
Last season Muscatell''s squad finished third in the Big Sky conference, averaging 8.67 steals per game. Sacramento State also finished fourth in conference with 3.44 blocked shots per game.
While at Oregon, Muscatell was involved in all aspects of the program, including the coordination of recruiting efforts and the coaching of offense and defense. He also worked with both the perimeter and post players.
While at Oregon, the Everett, Wash., native was responsible for bringing in one of the nation''s top recruiting classes in 2001, a six-member class that was ranked 17th in the nation by All-Star Girls Report. Muscatell also coached or recruited current and former WNBA players Edneisha Curry, Jenny Mowe, Angelina Wolvert and Shaquala Williams.
During his four years at Oregon, the Ducks were ranked in the top 25 during three of those seasons, including two top-10 finishes in 2000 and 2001. The program also combined to post a record of 74-49 while capturing two NCAA Tournament berths (2000 and 2001), a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title (2002) and a Pac-10 crown (2000).