WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO CONTINUE STREAK IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST
In the midst of a four-game winning streak, the Sacramento State Hornets return to the road to start the second half of the Big Sky season against the top two teams in the conference standings, Portland State and Eastern Washington.
Portland State enters the contest with a 6-2 conference record, coming off of a 67-60 home victory against Eastern Washington, the Eagles first conference loss of the season. Claire Faucher, who became the Big Sky’s all-time leader in assists in the Vikings contest earlier this season at the Hornets Nest, leads the team averaging 14.7 points and 6.9 assists per game. Kelly Marchant, who scored 32 against the Hornets Jan. 2, is averaging 12.4 points per game.
Eastern Washington will host the Hornets after playing a non-conference game against Seattle during the week. They are 7-1 in Big Sky play, with their lone blemish coming against Portland State last weekend. The Eagles are led by Julie Piper, who is averaging 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest this season. Kyla Evans ranks second in scoring, averaging 9.4 ppg, which includes a 14 point effort in Sacramento earlier this season.
LAST GAME: SACRAMENTO STATE 80, IDAHO STATE 71
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.
PREVIOUS GAME: SACRAMENTO STATE 90, WEBER STATE 75
Six players scored in double-figures as the Sacramento State women’s basketball team defeated the Weber State Wildcats by the score of 90-75 on Thursday, Jan. 28 at the Hornets Nest.
1-7 in the Big Sky.
After Sacramento State jumped out to a 14-9 lead with 13:52 remaining in the first half, Weber State went on a 12-0 run over the next 7:00 to take a 21-14 lead, their largest of the game. The Hornets immediately tied the game back up at 21-21 with 5:12 on a 7-0 run of their own, and the two teams traded the lead back and forth for the remainder of the half before Sacramento State took a 40-37 halftime lead.
At intermission, Sacramento State had forced 17 Weber State turnovers, but had turned them into just 10 points. The Wildcats shot 14-of-31 from the field (45.2 percent), while the Hornets were 15-of-44 (34.1 percent).
The two teams again fought tooth and nail to start the final 20 minutes of play, with Weber State retaking a 44-43 lead with 17:22 to play. But after a pair of free throws by senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) sparked a 15-2 run by the Hornets, Sacramento State would never trail again in the contest. The run, over just 3:33 of game-time, gave the Hornets a 58-46 lead with 13:49 to play.
Sacramento State’s lead would be cut to nine at 69-60 with 8:03 to play, but an 18-7 run by the Hornets over the next 6:35 would ice the game, as Sacramento State took an 87-67 lead with 1:28 to play. The lead would grow to as large as 21 before the final horn sounded with the Hornets taking home a 90-75 victory. Hunt led the Hornets with 23 points, while fellow seniors Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) and Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) added 16 points apiece. Garcia tied her career-high in both points (16) and assists (8) in the contest, while pulling down five boards and collecting three steals. Edwards made 4-of-10 from beyond the three-point arc, and added eight rebounds and a career-high four steals.
The Hornets collected 21 steals, which tied the best performance output by the Hornets in a Big Sky Conference game, set on Jan. 9, 1998 at Portland State. The school record is 23 steals, set on Dec. 3, 1999 against Azuza Pacific.
GARCIA NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sacramento State senior guard Ashley Garcia has been named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 31.
The senior from Antioch averaged 15.0 points, 8.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game on the weekend.
She scored 16 points, dished out eight assists, and pulled down five rebounds in the Hornets 90-75 victory over Weber State on Thursday night. In the Hornets first ever victory over Idaho State on Saturday afternoon, Garcia poured in 14 points and collected eight assists. In the two games this weekend, Garcia shot 46.2 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from beyond the three-point arc and 16-of-18 from the foul line.
She entered the season with a career average of 1.4 points and 1.0 assists per game in Big Sky play, but in her senior season she is averaging 11.1 points and 6.1 assists per game in league play.
The weekly honor marked the first for Garcia, and the third award earned by a Hornet this season. The first two were co-honors awarded to Charday Hunt, making Garcia the lone Hornet to not share the award.
1,000 POINTS IN THREE SEASONS? NO PROBLEM
Senior Charday Hunt scored her 1,000th career point on a free throw with 2:55 remaining in the Hornets 77-66 victory over Northern Arizona on 1/24. She now has 1,046 career points, good for sixth place on the team’s all-time charts.
SCORING AT ALL COSTS
Head coach Jamie Craighead has implemented her full court, up-tempo offense, and it shows on the offensive side of the scoreboard, leading the Big Sky with a 77.0 ppg scoring average, which ranks 15th nationally. The Hornets are ranked 10th in the country in three-pointers made per game, knocking down 8.0 per game from beyond 19 feet 9 inches. The team also ranks 10th in the country in assists, averaging 17.3 per contest.
EDWARDS AND HUNT MARCH UP MULTIPLE CHARTS
Senior Erika Edwards has moved up to fourth in the school’s all-time three-pointers made list, as her 39 three’s this season give her 130 for her career. She ranks sixth in career rebounds, grabbing 682 during her four year career.
Senior Charday Hunt currently ranks in ten of the team’s all-time top ten lists. Three of the categories in which Hunt has entered the school’s all-time ranks occur at the free throw line. The Portland native ranks 3rd in school history in free throw percentage (80.1 percent), fifth in free throws made (290) and sixth in free throws attempted (362). Hunt also ranks in the top 10 in three-point field goal percentage (5th, 36.1 percent), three-pointers made (5th, 106), points (6th, 1,046), scoring average (8th, 13.4), three-pointers attempted (9th, 294), field goals attempted (10th, 826), and field goals made (10th, 325)
Junior Jasmine Cannady suffered a lower leg injury that will force her to miss the remainder of the 2000-10 season. She had successful surgery on Jan. 28.
Junior Sami Field-Polisso will miss the entire 2009-10 season after suffering a knee injury that required surgery, which took place successfully on Nov. 24.
Freshman Alex White had successful foot surgery on Jan. 15. She is out for the season.
HORNETS ON THE INTERNET AIRWAVES
Media Relations Director Brian Berger will call all 13 home games on www.hornetsports.com, while Assistant Media Relations Director J.D. Fox will have the call for 11 road contests this season.