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Weekly Release - Feb. 28, 2007
WOMEN'S HOOPS ENDS SEASON ON THE ROAD AT MONTANA AND IDAHO STATE
Sacramento State’s 76-65 loss to Portland State officially ended the team’s hopes of making the Big Sky Tournament this season. It is the second straight year the team has not reached the tourney, after taking the sixth spot following the 2004-05 regular season.
The Hornets will now end the year at Montana (Thur., March 1) and at Idaho State (Sat., March 3).
The Grizzlies just clinched their 20th regular season conference championship, and Idaho State, the defending regular season title holders, will be playing at home for the final time this year.
Saturday’s 66-63 loss to Eastern Washington at the Hornets Nest was the team’s last home game of the season. It was also the final game at the Nest for seniors Ashley Storms, Stephanie Cherry and Kim Sheehy. In an emotional farewell, Sheehy tied her career high scoring 22 points, and knocking down four three-pointers. Cherry combined to score 26 points with sevens assists last week, while Storms set a new career high with seven assists against the Eagles.
Kim Sheehy is the only senior on the roster with a record capable of baring her name when the season comes to a close. She has 170 career three-pointers to her credit, and needs to drain six in her next two games to surpass Michelle St. Clair (175).
Four more assists this season, and her total will rank as one of the top 10 single-season totals in program history. Her 813 career points are just 27 short of breaking into the top 10.
ON HER TAIL
Kim Sheehy’s 846 points would rank 10th in program history, but her partner in the backcourt, point guard Stephanie Cherry, now totals 851 career points. With 109 points separating the ninth and 10th spots, only one of them will make the category depending on their performances this week.
SHE'S NOT DONE
Points aren’t the only category Cherry is focused on. The team leader in steals the past two years, her 162 career steals rank fourth in program history. She needs seven more in the next two games to move into the third spot.
Her 302 field goals made rank 10th in program history, and her 98 three-pointers are fifth all-time. Cherry has also shot 72.7 percent from the free-throw line during her career, ranking 10th all-time. Currently Cherry’s 193 assists are nine shy of cracking the program's top 10.
Stephanie Cherry has posted double figures in her last four games, averaging 16.5 points, to go along with 3.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game. It must be a senior tendency, because Kim Sheehy seems to want to end things on a high not as well, averaging 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game the last two weeks.
Not to be out done, in that same time frame, Ashley Storms is averaging 5.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
This season has been a break out one for sophomore forward Becca Reams. She has reached double figures eight times, and last Saturday against Eastern Washington, fell just one rebound short of a double-double with 12 points and a team-leading nine rebounds. She leads the team with shooting 46.3 percent from the floor, and she leads all underclassmen on the squad, scoring 205 points.
CAN'T AVOID IT
Currently on a 13-game losing streak, the longest for the program since the 2003-04 season, this week will be the Hornets last opportunity to end it before the start of next season. If it can't be broken at Montana or Idaho State, the team will end the year on a 15-game losing streak.
Without a victory, the team would also end its first season in Muscatell’s four-year tenure without a victory on the road.
This season has been virtually injury free aside from a few casualties. Junior guard Ali Mollet was lost after eight games when a reoccurring knee injury sidelined the San Jose, Calif., native.
Freshman forward Lexi Lallas missed eight games with an ankle sprain, but returned to score a combined six points in games at Montana State and Weber State.
Unfortunately, sophomore forward Atty Boyer is yet to return to the floor. A foot injury has the 2005 El Camino HS graduate on a day-to-day recovery schedule and missing the last six contests. Her last game on the floor, she leads the team with 16 points and seven rebounds against Idaho State on Feb. 3.
A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
Sheehy is one of six players in the Big Sky this year to record at least 10 assists in a single game, a mark accomplished against Saint Mary's on Dec. 28...Atty Boyer's 23-point performance against 19th-ranked UCLA was the most any Hornet has scored since Ashley Cadotte recorded 23 against Montana State on Feb. 18, 2006...Sacramento State did not shoot a single free throw in its game against the UC Davis, it was the first time in the Hornets‚ Division I history that they were not called to the foul line...sophomore Becca Reams broke two career highs at Pacific, scoring 20 points and adding seven rebounds...her 7-of-10 shooting performance was the best of any Hornet this year...sophomore Jourdan Willard's three blocks against Northern Colorado were the most of any player this year as well...Ashley Storms set two new career highs with 10 rebounds and seven steals at Portland State, in her last game at the Nest, she recorded a career high seven assists against Eastern Washington...against Montana on Feb. 8, freshman Kelly Vega set career highs with 15 points, four rebounds, and 27 minutes on the floor...Vega added one more rebound to her single-game career high with five against Eastern Washington on Feb. 24...including the final road trip of the year, Sacramento State has traveled 24,839 miles this year, with its longest trip to Hawaii in November.
Montana (26-2, 14-1) clinched its 20th Big Sky title last Saturday with a 74-56 victory over Northern Colorado. The Grizzlies are in the midst of a 10-game winning streak, and have not dropped one since a, 64-49, loss at Weber State on Jan. 20.
Sophomore Mandy Morales has established herself as one of the top players in the league, averaging 20.2 points per game (second in the Big Sky, 12th in the nation) and a league-leading 6.9 assists per game, also good for third in the country.
Thursday's game is the regular season finale for Montana, until Friday, March 9 at the Big Sky conference tournament.
Idaho State (13-13, 9-5), the defending regular season champs from a year ago, got off to a slow start, but quickly corrected things and are now fourth in the Big Sky standings. The Bengals have the chance to move up in the standings, hosting Weber State (16-11, 11-3) on Thursday, and the Hornets on Saturday.
The Bengals boast the conference's leading offense and leading scorer, averaging 79.9 points per game as a team, while Natalie Doma's 21.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game also lead the Big Sky. Her scoring average ranks fifth in the nation, and her rebounding average is seventh.
HEAD COACH DAN MUSCATELL
Dan Muscatell became the sixth Sacramento State women's basketball head coach in the program's 40-year history in March of 2003, 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 (21-84) posted an 9-17 record last season, the team's best mark since the 1995-96 season. During the 2004-05 season, Muscatell led the team to the Big Sky postseason tournament for just the second time since the Hornets joined the Big Sky in 1996.
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 Andrea Bills, Edneisha Curry, Brandi Davis, Cathrine Kraayeveld, 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).