WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WINS SEVENTH IN A ROW WITH 95-81 WIN OVER PACIFIC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - All five starters scored in double-figures as the Sacramento State women's basketball team posted its seventh straight victory, a 95-81 decision over Pacific on Sat., Feb. 13 at the Hornets Nest.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 11-12 on the season, while the Tigers fall to 4-19.
Both teams struggled offensively out of the gate, with the Hornets taking a 9-8 lead with 12:23 remaining in the half on a fast break layup by freshman Kylie Kuhns (Salem, Ore.). Sacramento State would never trail the rest of the way. Leading 33-26 with 2:45 remaining, the Hornets closed out the half on a 12-4 run to take a 45-30 lead at the break.
In the first half both teams shot under 36 percent from the field, but the Hornets were 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) from behind the three-point arc and 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) from the foul line.
The Hornets shot out of halftime to a 10-2 run over the opening 1:41 to take their largest lead of the game, 23 points, at 55-32. With the lead remaining 23 at 60-37 with 16:10 to go, Pacific went on a 23-3 run over the next 3:51 to pull to within three points at 63-60 with 12:19 remaining. During the run, the Tigers got four three-pointers from freshman guard Erica McKenzie. Senior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) ended the run with a jumper from the corner, but the Tigers answered back with a layup, making the score 65-62 with 10:08 remaining.
Sacramento State then put away the Tigers for good, going on a 15-2 run over the next 2:48 to take a 16 point lead at 80-64 with 7:20 remaining. During the stretch, the Hornets got four points apiece from senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) and junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), a three-pointer from senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.), and two points apiece from junior Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) and freshman Mallorie Franco (Fortuna, Calif.). The lead grew to 19 points at 90-71 with 2:45 remaining, before ending 95-81 in favor of the Hornets.
The 95 points were a season-high for Sacramento State, who were led by Hunt's 20 points. Garcia finished with a career-high 19 points, which included a career-best three three-pointers. Koshiyama-Diaz scored 18 points, making her first four attempts from three-point distance, and tied her career-high with nine assists. Christensen added 13 points and seven assists, while Edwards closed out the five starters in double-figures with her third double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and adding 10 rebounds. Kuhns posted a near double-double off the Hornet bench, scoring nine points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Sacramento State finished 31-of-77 from the field (40.3 percent), 13-of-32 from beyond the three-point arc (40.6 percent) and 20-of-25 from the foul line (80.0 percent).
"I thought we did a good job of maintaining our composure in that run that they made in the second half. Not giving up the lead shows some character and growth for our team," head coach Jamie Craighead said following the win. "In the second half we came up with some big rebounds that we needed. It seems like this team has found a way to play together and come up with big plays when they need them."
Pacific out shot the Hornets for the game, making 34-of-80 from the field (42.5 percent), while also knocking down 9-of-29 from beyond the three-point arc. The difference, however, came at the foul line, where Pacific made just 4-of-8, accounting for a 16 point difference between the two clubs at the foul line.
McKenzie led all scorers with 28 points to lead Pacific, knocking down six three-points. Christina Thompson, the Tigers leading scorer on the season, scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench, while Eliza Dy added 10 points and nine assists.
Sacramento State will look to make it eight in a row when they take on the Montana State Bobcats next Thursday, Feb. 18. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from the Hornets, with the game marking the Hornets WBCA Pink Zone contest. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game in support of breast cancer awareness.