WOMEN'S BASKETBALL HEADS TO NORTHERN ARIZONA ON SATURDAY TO PLAY TOP TEAM IN THE BIG SKY
A WEEKEND OF FIRSTS
Sacramento State (6-10, 1-3) picked up its first Big Sky Conference victory and first road win of the season, defeating Montana State 66-57 last Thursday in Bozeman, Mont.
Led by senior forward Lindsey Heard''s career-high 18 points off the bench, the Hornets were able to overcome previous road woes en route to their victory. Heard, a Roseburg, Ore., native, shot 8-of-10 from the floor, the best mark of any player this year.
Junior guard Kim Sheehy added 11 points, draining three shots from beyond the arc. Senior guard Cindy Alldrin added 10 points and five rebounds, while senior forward Katelyn Ciampi chipped in nine points and nine rebounds.
Alldrin averaged 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists over the weekend, after scoring a team-high 13 points in last Saturday''s 78-59 loss at Montana. The Hornets trailed 36-26 at the half and the Grizzlies went on 8-0 run sparked by two of Katie Edwards seven three-pointers to take an out-of-reach lead. Edwards scored a career-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Sacramento State''s Lindsay Calmettes scored a career-high 12 points, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the three-point line.
UP HILL CLIMB
Sacramento State''s 6-10 start is still the team''s best start since the 1993-94 season. The Hornets are averaging 60.3 points per game, a four-point improvement from a year ago. The team is also on a quest to improve its overall record for the second consecutive season and make the Big Sky postseason tournament for the second straight year.
Sacramento State has been potent from several areas on the floor this season. Second in the conference averaging 6.8 three-pointers per game, the Hornets are shooting 32.0 percent from beyond the arc. A year ago, the program set a new Division I record with 149 three-pointers, but the 2005-06 squad is currently on pace to break that record.
The Hornets are also fourth in the conference from the free-throw line, shooting 74.5 percent (181-of-243). That mark could also break the Division I program record, which was set during the 1995-96 season, when the team shot 71.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Since Muscatell took over the program, Sacramento State has been a team which works extensively on the defensive end. Currently, the Hornets are forcing opponents into 18.9 turnovers per game and picking up 9.7 steals per game - second in the Big Sky.
AROUND THE HORN
Three players, guards Kim Sheehy, Stephanie Cherry and Cindy Alldrin, are currently averaging double figures for the Hornets. The team''s starting backcourt has given consistent point production, with Sheehy leading the way averaging a team-leading 11.9 points per game, ranking her 10th among the Big Sky''s leading scorers.
The junior out of Santa Fe, N.M., has posted one of the best seasons from beyond the three-point line. Sheehy has drained 42 treys this year and has improved her career total 97 in just her second season, ranking her fourth in program history. She has knocked down at least one three-pointer in every game this season, extending a 22-game streak that dates back to last season.
Cherry has been making the transition from shooting guard to point guard and is currently averaging 10.8 points per game. She has led the team in scoring on three occasions and has scored over 20 points twice. Some of her biggest efforts come on the defensive end, where she is averaging 2.2 steals per game, ranking her third in the Big Sky.
Alldrin, in her second year out of Clackamas CC, is averaging 10.3 points per game, getting a lot of activity at the free-throw line. She is shooting 88.5 percent (46-of-52) from the charity stripe, second in the Big Sky. Her 2.5 assists per game also rank her second on the team. Alldrin has led the team in scoring on six occasions and scored in double figures nine times this season.
OFF THE BENCH
Senior forward Lindsey Heard broke out with her third double-figure scoring game of the season when the Hornets needed it most. Against Montana State, Heard shot a season-best 8-of-10 from the floor, scoring a career-high 18 points in the victory. It was the first time this year she has led the team in scoring. Heard is now averaging 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Senior Lindsay Calmettes also set a new career-high last weekend. Her previous career-high was five points against Weber State. Calmettes'' 12-point, 4-of-4 three-point performance from beyond the arc established the senior''s ability to shoot the basketball. Sophomore Ali Mollet also saw increased time on the court, while freshmen Becca Reams and Atty Boyer and junior Ashley Storms have also seen time off the bench.
ON THE BLOCK
For all but one game this year, the senior tandem of Katelyn Ciampi and Ashley Cadotte have formed the starting pair in the front court.
Ciampi is averaging 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, while shooting a team-high 49.4 percent from the floor. The Martinez, Calif., native is the only fourth-year player on the team and she now ranks 10th in Div. I program history with 430 career rebounds and ninth with 44 career blocks.
Cadotte is in her second season with the Hornets and is currently averaging a team-leading 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. The Oregon City, Ore., native is also putting up 8.4 points per game.
She is currently ranked sixth in the Big Sky in rebounding and is ranked fourth on the offensive glass, averaging 2.94 boards per game. Cadotte has also led the team in rebounding in 10 of the team''s 16 games this year, while also leading the team in assists on four occasions.
Northern Arizona currently holds the top spot in the Big Sky Conference with a 3-1 record and 13-6 overall.
The Lumberjacks traveled to Montana last weekend and earned a 65-60 win over the Grizzlies, but had its five-game winning streak snapped with a 57-55 loss at Montana State last Saturday.
Junior forward Megan Porter leads the team averaging 13.2 points per game while adding 4.8 rebounds. Also averaging double figures is junior forward Alyssa Wahl with 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Last year''s co-Big Sky Newcomer of the year, senior guard/forward Nicky Eason, is averaging 9.8 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game.
The Lumberjacks are scoring 64.4 points per game and outrebounding their opponents 37.6-35.1. Northern Arizona is also shooting a Big Sky-leading 41.9 percent from the floor while dishing out a league-leading 16.7 assists per game.