Sacramento State takes off to Montana for its final road trip of the regular season. First up for the Hornets is Montana. The Grizzlies, currently undefeated in the Big Sky with a conference record of 8-0, are on pace to finish first in the Big Sky and host the postseason tournament. Montana is led by Hollie Tyler and Katie Edward, 13.7 and 12.8 points per game, respectively.
Sacramento State''s second game on the road trip is at Montana State. Earlier in the season at the Hornets Nest, Sacramento State got the best of the Bobcats, 70-65, in overtime. The Bobcats sit at seventh in the Big Sky with a conference record of 1-7. The last time the Hornets won in Bozeman, was a 62-60 win on Mar. 1, 2003.
A Look Back
Sacramento State hosted Weber State and Idaho State last weekend, falling in both games and breaking their two-game winning streak. On Thursday, the Hornets lost to Weber State, 74-40. The Wildcats shot over 50.0 percent in both halves and finished the game shooting 53.8 percent (28-of-52) from the floor. Sacramento State struggled from the floor, shooting 26.9 percent for the game and 7.1 percent (1-of-14) from behind the three-point line.
On Saturday, the Hornets lost to Idaho State, 70-67 in overtime, blemishing the team''s undefeated record in extra time (3-1). In the loss to the Bengals, senior guard Tyeisha Brown led the team with 20 points, while junior forward Ashley Cadotte recorded her second double-double of the season with a career-high 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Stephanie Cherry had the first double-double of her career with 10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
With seven wins on the 2004-05 season, the Hornets are beginning to break records from years past; Sacramento State''s seven wins are the most since the 1995-96 season...the teams seven wins over Division I teams are the most since the 1995-96 season... the Hornets three Big Sky wins are the most since the 1999-00 season...the team is also off to its best conference start in program history...the Hornets three road wins are the most since the 1993-94 season...when the Hornets defeated Montana State, on Jan. 20, it was their first Big Sky win at the Nest since the 2000-01 season...Sacramento State''s home record of 4-6 is the best for the team since the 1999-00 season...Brown, who has a team-high 56 steals, is one steal away from cracking the top-10 for steals in a single season...sophomore guard Kim Sheehy has sunk 37 three-pointers this season, tying her for ninth in program history for made three-pointers in a career.
Defense, Defense, Defense
Sacramento State''s aggressive defense is paying off in a big way. The Hornets are averaging a Big Sky-leading 11.0 steals per game. The squad''s ability to wreak havoc on the defensive end of the floor extends to the entire team, with five players averaging at least 1.3 steals per game, led by Brown''s 2.5. The Vallejo, Calif. native has tallied a team-high 56 steals this season, ranking her first in the Big Sky. In conference games, Brown has increased her average to a league-leading 2.78 steals per game. Sacramento State is also forcing opponents into 18.8 turnovers per game.
Junior guard Cindy Alldrin and Cadotte teamed together last season at Clackamas CC, winning the NWACC championship. Cadotte is pulling down a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game, and she also has three 10+ rebounding games with two double-doubles. A hard-working, scrappy rebounder under the boards, Cadotte is one of only two Hornets to start every game this season. Alldrin, currently leads the team in assists with 2.3 per game, while averaging 7.0 points per game.
Sheehy and Cherry each had their respective three-point streaks broken in the Hornets'' losses over the weekend. Sheehy''s 14 games with at least one three-pointer was leading the Big Sky, but the Santa Fe, N.M., native didn''t connect from behid the arc against Idaho State. Sheehy has started all of Sacramento State''s 22 games this season and in is sixth in the Big Sky with1.68 three-pointers per game.
Cherry''s nine-game three-point streak was snapped against Weber State, but the Suisun, Calif., native has stepped up her defense, averaging 2.33 steals per game in conference games (fourth in the Big Sky). Cherry is also third on the team in scoring, averaging 7.1 points per game.
After coming off the bench in Sacramento State''s first 17 games of the season, Brown has now started the team''s last five games. Brown has also scored in double figures in the team''s last four games, leading the team with 11.0 points per game, 11th in the Big Sky. Brown also has three 20-plus point performances under her belt this season, leading the team in scoring 11 times this season and 18 times in her two-year career.
Also contributing from the bench this season have been junior forward Lindsey Heard and freshman guard Ali Mollet. Heard is averaging 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. A Kodak All-American at Umpqua CC last season, she has led the Hornets in scoring four times this year.
In her first collegiate season, Mollet has started two games this year and came off the bench in 18. 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.
Junior forward Katelyn Ciampi has tallied 21 steals this season, the Martinez, Calif., native has scored in double figures seven 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). Ciampi has stepped up her play in conference, averaging 3.0 offensive rebounds per game (third in the Big Sky), helping her team to average a Big Sky-leading 12.67 offensive rebounds per game.
Senior forward Kristine Knowlton, the only four-year student-athlete on the team, scored a season-high eight points against Idaho State. Knowlton ranks first in Sacramento State Div. I program history with 148 career blocks.
The Hornets have yet to get on track with their free-throw shooting this season, averaging 62.1 percent from the charity stripe, ranking them last in the Big Sky.
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 seven wins this season, the team''s best start since the 1995-96 season. 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).