WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT WITH 80-71 TRIUMPH OVER IDAHO STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) scored 23 points, junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) added 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals, and senior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) chipped in 14 points and eight assists, as the Sacramento State women's basketball team defeated the Idaho State Bengals by a score of 80-71 on Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Hornets Nest.
With the victory, the Hornets improve to 8-12, 4-4 in Big Sky Conference play, and have now won four consecutive games for the first time since the 1993-94 season. The victory over the Bengals, who fall to 9-12, 4-4 in the Big Sky, was also their first over Idaho State in school history, having previously lost all 27 meetings between the two schools.
Idaho State and Sacramento State played the first nine minutes even, as the score was tied 16-16 with 10:51 remaining in the half. From there, the Hornets went on a 9-2 run over the next 2:56 to take a 25-18 lead with 7:55 remaining. The lead grew to 11 points at 40-29 with 1:51 remaining before Idaho State fought back to outscore the Hornets 8-2 the remainder of the half, cutting Sacramento State's halftime lead to 42-37.
The Bengals trailed by five at the half despite shooting 64.0 percent from the field (16-of-25), as Sacramento State was just 33.3 percent (14-of-42), but scored 21 points off of 20 Idaho State first half turnovers.
Sacramento State opened the second 20 minutes with a 7-2 run, taking a 49-39 lead with 17:46 remaining on a three-pointer by senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.). A 12-5 run by the Bengals followed, as Idaho State cut the lead to 54-51 with 13:25 remaining, but Edwards would hit another three-pointer with 12:38 remaining, pushing the lead back to six points at 57-51. The Bengals countered with a layup by Andrea Videbeck, cutting the lead back to four at 57-53, but that would be as close as Idaho State would get. The Hornets went on a 9-0 run over the next 4:40, which included a layup by freshman Kylie Kuhns (Salem, Ore.), a three-pointer from Christensen, and a layup and a pair of free throws from Hunt.
Idaho State pulled back to within six points at 70-64 with 2:13 remaining on a three-pointer by Andrea Blodgett, but the Hornets would go a perfect 10-of-10 at the foul line in the final two minutes, including a 4-for-4 stretch by Hunt and a 6-for-6 stretch from senior Garcia, to take home the 80-71 victory.
In a game that simply could not be defined by shooting statistics, Idaho State finished the contest 30-of-58 from the field (51.7 percent), while the Hornets were just 24-of-74 (32.4 percent). The differences in the contest could be found a little further down the box score, as Sacramento State was 25-of-31 from the foul (80.6 percent), while the Bengals were just 5-of-10. Idaho State also finished the contest with 32 turnovers, as Sacramento State was able to capitalize those turnovers into 31 points. Idaho State outrebounded the Hornets 43-41, but the Hornets held a 23-12 advantage in offensive rebounds, and actually pulled down more rebounds on the offensive end (23) than the defensive end (18). For the second straight game, the Hornets set a new school record in Big Sky games, collected 22 steals as a team.
"In the first half we definitely had them searching," head coach Jamie Craighead said. "They were able to make shots in the first half, but they were unable to get a lot of shots because of the turnovers. When you steal the ball 22 times and have 23 offensive rebounds, you're going to find a way to score. The key, it seems, in our victories is making more free throws then they take."
Hunt led the Hornet charge with 23 points, but was just 5-of-18 from the field. She did her damage, however, at the foul line, going 13-of-16 for the game. Christensen's double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) almost turned into a triple-double, as she tied the single-game school record with eight steals. Garcia was 9-of-10 from the free throw line for the game, finishing with 14 points and eight assists in 34 minutes. Kuhns nearly posted her second straight double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds off the bench.
Idaho State was led by Oana Iacovita, who scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Iacovita was 12-of-15 from the field and 1-of-1 from the foul line. Videbeck posted a near triple-double as well, finishing with 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, although she also committed 12 turnovers.
Sacramento State will look to win make it five victories in a row when they travel to Portland State to take on the Vikings on Friday, Feb. 5. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from the Stott Center, with the game being broadcast live on www.hornetsports.com starting at 6:50 with the coach Jamie Craighead show.