HORNETS HOST WEBER STATE IN KEY EARLY CONFERENCE MATCHUP
Scouting Weber State
The Hornets and Wildcats enter the week close in the Big Sky standings, with both teams hoping to secure another win to better their chances for making the Big Sky Tournament. Weber State fell in both matchups this past weekend at home, dropping a 77-65 decision to Montana State before ending up on the short end of a 62-53 score against Montana.
Leading scorer Sara Tuomi, a six-foot senior forward, posted double-doubles in both contests, going for 10 points and 11 boards against Montana State, and 11 points and 14 rebounds against Montana. The points, however, did not come easily, as Tuomi was 8-of-26 from the field (30.7 percent) in the two games combined, including just 4-of-15 against Montana State. Tuomi has reached double-figures in all 17 of the Wildcats games this season, tieing her for the conference mark with Idaho State center Natalie Doma.
Caitlin Anderson, a 5-10 redshirt freshman forward, entered last week averaging just three points per game, but exploded for career weekend against the Montana schools. Anderson scored 14 points off the bench in the loss to Montana State, but earned her first career start two days later against the Lady Griz. Anderson posted her first career double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the contest, including 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. She is now 14-of-25 on the season from beyond the arc (56.0 percent).
The Wildcats lead the all-time series during the Hornets Division I era (1991-92 to present) by a mark of 21-1, and have won the last 14 contests between the two squads. The lone Hornet win occurred January 6, 2000 at the Hornets Nest, a 66-44 triumph, as Kerri Dunn led the way with 18.
Last Game: Sacramento State 62, Northern Arizona 53
Behind a combined 36 points from their four post players, the Sacramento State women’s basketball team defeated Northern Arizona for the first time in school history on the road, by a final score of 62-53 on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Walkup Skydome.
With the win, Sacramento State put an end to a 30 game road losing streak, which dated back to Jan. 19, 2006.
The homestanding Lumberjacks got things going quickly, pushing out to a 4-0 lead before the Hornets would respond. A jumper from junior Becca Reams (Foresthill, Calif.), followed by a three-pointer by freshman Sami Field-Polisso (Mountain View, Calif.), would give the Hornets a 5-4 lead. Following two free throws from NAU’s Ashley Ingle which regained her team the lead at 6-5, junior Atty Boyer (Sacramento, Calif.) scored on a layup to give the Hornets a lead they would relinquish at 7-6 with 16:26 to go in the first half.
The Hornets would extend the lead to eight early with a 9-1 run, highlighted by a pair of field goals from junior Jourdan Willard (Sacramento, Calif.), at 15-7 with 13:53 remaining. The Lumberjacks worked the remainder of the half to cut down the lead, getting it down to a one point halftime margin on layup by Laura Dinkins on their final possession, 28-27.
The second half saw the Hornets open with a 10-0 run, which included a three-point make by junior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.), a pair of baskets by Reams, and a three-pointer by freshman Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) that bounded straight up off of the back iron before swishing into the net. Northern Arizona would continue to claw away at the lead, cutting the margin to four points on three occasions, including as late as 3:37 remaining in the game. But the Hornets did their job making free throws, hitting 19-of-21 on the game (90.5 percent), and 7-of-8 in the final five minutes of the contest (87.5 percent).
The Hornet post players led the way in scoring, but did a majority of their damage from the foul line and from beyond the three-point arc. Edwards and Reams led the way with 11 points each, with Edwards knocking down 2-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc and 3-of-4 from the line and Reams shooting 1-of-2 from downtown and 2-of-2 from the line. Off the bench, Boyer added 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from the line, while Willard finished with four points, all of them coming in the Hornets first half run.
On the perimeter, Field Polisso finished with nine points and dished out five assists to just one turnover, while Koshiyama-Diaz scored seven points in a career-high 19 minutes.
The Lumberjacks were led by Sade Cunningham with 14 points, while Ingle posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while adding 5 blocks.
The Hornets outshot NAU 41.3 percent to 29.3 percent, while knocking down 41.7 percent (5-of-12) of their three-pointers. Sacramento State outrebounded the Lumberjacks 41-30, while scoring 25 points off the bench, to the Lumberjacks seven.
Previous Game: Montana 82, Sacramento State 52
The Sacramento State women’s basketball team dropped a matchup to Big Sky preseason favorite Montana, 82-52 on Sat., Jan. 12 at Dahlberg Arena.
Out of the gates, the Hornets hit the first basket to take a 2-0 lead, but it would be their only lead, as Montana then went on an 18-4 run, taking an 18-6 lead with 12:41 remaining in the half. Sacramento State would cut the deficit back to single digits three times, the final of which took place with 9:19 remaining at 23-14, before the Lady Griz would go on to take a 21 point halftime lead at 47-26.
Montana continued to control the game throughout the second half, as the Hornets would only be able to cut the lead down to 17 on two occasions.
After a limited scoring outing against Montana State, freshman Sami Field-Polisso (Mountain View, Calif.) rebounded to post a team-high 15 points. Sophomore Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) posted a near double-double, totalling eight points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 6:08 remaining. Freshman Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) scored seven points off the bench, one night after starting her first career contest.
Montana was led by Mandy Morales, who scored 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while Johanna Closson (14) and Laura Cote (12) each finished in double figures.
Hornets’ Schedule Standing Up as One of the Big Sky’s Toughest
According to three services that compute strength of schedule (collegerpi.com, realtimerpi.com and the Sagarin Ratings), the Hornets have played the second toughest schedule of any Big Sky team, with Idaho State having the top schedule in the conference, as ranked by all three services.
Pack the House Day Comes to the Hornets Nest on January 26
Sacramento State will be hosting Pack the House Day, in association with Pepsi Kids Day, on Jan. 26 as the Hornets host Idaho State at 1:05 p.m. During the contest, Hornet fans will attempt to set a new all time attendance mark for a women’s basketball game inside the Nest, and be followed by a kid’s clinic after the game with coach Muscatell’s staff and Hornet players leading kids through skills, drills and fun. The game will also feature contests with prize giveaways and other freebies from the Sacramento State Marketing Department. Things will kick off at 11:30 a.m. as kids are invited to come early to make posters for the game.
Field-Polisso From Half Court... Good
Freshman Sami Field-Polisso posted a career-high 21 points in leading the Hornets to a 73-70 victory over Eastern Washington on Jan. 5. Field Polisso was 5-of-8 from the field in the first half, including a buzzer beating make from just inside of half court. She did not make a field goal in the second half, but knocked down 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory for Sacramento State. In conference play, Field-Polisso is the Hornets leading scorer, averaging 10.2 points per game.
Koshiyama-Diaz Knocking Down Three’s From Off the Bench
Freshman Tika Koshiyama-Diaz connected on a 3-pointer for her third straight game in the win over Northern Arizona, and has now hit a 3 in five of her last six appearances. Koshiyama-Diaz, who played a career-high 19 minutes on Saturday, is 9-of-14 from downtown this season (64.3 percent).
Newcomers Picking Up Scoring Load
So far this season, the Hornets six newcomers have combined to produce 48.7 percent of the teams scoring output. Leading the charge are sophomore Charday Hunt and freshman Sami Field-Polisso, who are both averaging 8.5 points per game. Freshmen Emily Christensen (4.9), and Jasmine Cannady (3.8) have each saw the floor in all 17 contests, while freshman Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (3.1) has played in 12 contests. Sophomore Darla Bishop (1.6) has seen the floor in five games this season.
Boyer Knockin’ Home the Freebies
Junior F/C Atty Boyer, the team’s leading scoring on the season, has ran off an impressive streak from the foul line, making 29 of her last 34 attempts from the charity stripe (85.3 percent). Boyer had made 14 in a row before missing a shot from the foul line late in the first half against Gonzaga on Dec. 8.
Edwards Steps Up For Career-Best Week
Sophomore Erika Edwards posted her second career double-double in the Hornets 81-69 defeat at the hands of conference leading Portland State on Jan 3. Edwards poured in 19 points and added 12 rebounds, knocking down 7-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc. She followed up that performance with a nine point effort in the Hornets 73-70 victory over Eastern Washington on Jan. 5. In that game, Edwards was 4-of-8 from the field, and added two assists and two steals, with just one turnover in 29 minutes that were limited by foul trouble. For the week, Edwards led the team, averaging 14 points and 7.5 boards per game.
Hunt Comes Through in Clutch for Hornets
Sophomore Charday Hunt knocked down an 18-footer with three seconds remaining, her only field goal of the game, to give the Hornets an 87-85 victory over Pacific on Dec. 11. Hunt, who had seen her only other field goal attempt of the game blocked, became open after a beautiful draw-and-kick from junior Kelly Hughes, who drove the baseline and sucked in defenders, allowing Hunt to calmly sink the shot. Hunt has also stepped up her scoring average in conference play, as she is averaging 8.8 points per game in the Big Sky.
17 Games - Six Lineups
Head coach Dan Muscatell has produced six different starting lineups in the Hornets first 17 contests this season. After beginning the season with different lineups in four straight games, the Hornets used the same lineup for the next nine matchups, before changing the lineup once again. The Hornets starting lineups used this season are listed below:
G G C F F Opponent W-L (Lineup)
Field-Polisso Cannady Reams Willard Hunt at UC Davis 0-1 (0-1)
Field-Polisso Davis Boyer Reams Hunt at Drake 0-2 (0-1)
Field-Polisso Hughes Boyer Edwards Hunt at Iowa State 0-3 (0-1)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt at UCI 0-4 (0-1)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt San Jose State 1-4 (1-1)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt Santa Clara 1-5 (1-2)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt at San Francisco 1-6 (1-3)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt Gonzaga 1-7 (1-4)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt Pacific 2-7 (2-4)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt at Boise State 2-8 (2-5)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt at Fresno State 2-9 (2-6)
Field-Polisso Cannady Boyer Edwards Hunt Portland 2-10 (2-7)
Field-Polisso Cannady Reams Edwards Hunt Portland State 2-11 (0-1)
Field-Polisso Cannady Reams Edwards Hunt Eastern Wash. 3-11 (1-1)
Field-Polisso Koshiyama-Diaz Reams Edwards Hunt Montana State 3-12 (0-1)
Field-Polisso Cannady Reams Edwards Hunt Montana 3-13 (1-2)
Field-Polisso Cannady Reams Edwards Hunt Northern Arizona 4-13 (2-2)
Head Coach Dan Muscatell
Entering his fifth season with Sacramento State, head coach Dan Muscatell is looking to take a young squad to the Big Sky Conference postseason tournament for the second time in four seasons.
Last year, the Hornets saw six newcomers take the floor, and with six new players entering for the 2007-08 season, Sacramento State will be a youthful bunch when it takes the floor.
The 2005-06 season saw Muscatell lead the team to a 9-17 overall record. It was the best finish of any Hornet team in 10 seasons. During the year, the Hornets posted a five-game winning streak on their home floor and upended eventual Big Sky Tournament champion Northern Arizona, 61-59, in their final home game of the year.
It was less than three years ago during the 2004-05 season, when the program began to break long-standing streaks and advanced to the Big Sky Conference postseason tournament for the first time since 1997, establishing itself as one of the most competitive teams in the league.
Under Muscatell, Sacramento State finished 8-20 in 2005. The team’s conference record of 4-10 was also the best mark since 2000, as the Hornets overcame a previous inability to win on the road, picking up three victories away from home and establishing the team’s best road record since 1993-94. Two of those victories came against Big Sky opposition, another program first. And for just the second time since Sacramento State joined the Big Sky in 1996, the Hornets swept a conference foe, defeating Eastern Washington in both of their meetings.
In addition, the records are not only breaking on the court. During Muscatell’s last four years with the program, 17 of his players have received Big Sky all-academic honors.
Of the 15 players who have reached senior eligibility under Muscatell’s regime, 14 have graduated as of May, 2007.
He and his wife, Terri, celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year, and have three children: Keely (22), Jessica (19) and Drew (17).