WOMEN'S BASKETBALL BOMBS IN PROGRAM RECORD 15 THREE-POINTERS IN FIRST EVER VICTORY OVER MONTANA, 100-83
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team poured in a school record 15 three-pointers to defeat the Montana Lady Griz for the first time in program history, 100-83, on Saturday, Feb. 20.
With the victory, the Hornets improve to 12-13, 7-5 inside the Big Sky Conference, and are now winners of eight of their last nine contests. Sacramento State defeated Montana in women's basketball for the first time in 28 tries, having entered the contest 0-27 lifetime. The Hornets also tie their best win output in Big Sky play in program history, matching last year's mark of seven victories.The Lady Griz fell to 13-12, 8-5 in the Big Sky with the loss. They gave up 100 points in a game for the first time in school history.
On senior day, Sacramento State's three seniors came to play, and provided the offensive spark that allowed the team to build a 45-30 halftime lead. Seniors Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.), Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) and Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) combined for 33 of the team's first half point total of 45.
With Montana leading 18-15 with 8:18 remaining, Edwards knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to give the Hornets a two point lead at 24-22 with 6:50 remaining before halftime. After Kenzie De Boer tied the score at 24-24 with 5:49 to play with a pair of free throws for the Lady Griz, the Hornets went on a 12-0 run over the next 2:20 to take a 36-24 advantage. During the run, Hunt scored seven points, Garcia knocked down a three-pointer, and freshman Kylie Kuhns (Salem, Ore.) contributed a layup. The Hornets would increase the lead to 15 on a pair of free throws by freshman Natasha Torgerson (Grants Pass, Ore.) right before the half, taking a 45-30 margin into the locker room.
In the first half, the Hornets were 16-of-40 from the field (40.0 percent), 8-of-22 from beyond the three-point arc (36.4 percent) and 5-of-8 from the free throw line (62.5 percent). Montana, who outrebounded the Hornets 32-25 in the opening 20 minutes, was 13-of-41 from the field (31.7 percent), 1-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc (14.3 percent) and 3-of-6 from the foul line. The biggest statistic in the half came in second chance points, were the Lady Griz converted 14 offensive rebounds into just seven points, while the Hornets were the model of efficiency, turning just eight offensive rebounds into 16 second chance points.
Sacramento State did not allow the Lady Griz back into the contest to start the second half, as the team went on a 10-2 run out of intermission to take a 55-32 lead with 16:29 remaining. Of the 10 points, eight came from the senior class, as Hunt and Edwards each knocked down a three-pointer, and Garcia made a fast break pull-up jumper.
Montana would cut the margin down to 64-47 with 12:16 remaining, but would get no closer, as the Hornets slammed the down with a 14-2 run over the next 2:48 of game time, taking a 78-49 lead with 9:28 remaining. The Hornets would eclipse the century mark for just the sixth time in program history, and first since 1996, on a three-pointer from junior Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) with 1:53 remaining, before taking home the 100-83 victory.
"That was the biggest win in program history, and we got to get for those three seniors," head coach Jamie Craighead said following the victory. "I told our team that we could give our seniors a really good parting gift, beating Montana for the first time in program history. There have been a lot of firsts for the team this year, and this is another one."
The Hornets were led by Hunt, who scored 28 points in 37 minutes of action. Hunt was 8-of-22 from the field, 3-of-12 from behind the three-point arc and 9-of-11 from the foul line. Edwards had a near-career day in her final home game, finishing one point shy of tying her career-high with 21 points, grabbing a career-best 16 rebounds and connecting on a personal best seven three-pointers.
"I told her (Edwards) early, because she was missing them but they were dead on, you're not really missing them keep shooting," Craighead said. "She agreed, and I thought she stepped up and made some huge three's for us when they were making their runs."
Garcia finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in her final home contest, and the seniors ended up combining for 63 of the Hornets 100 points. All told, five players reached double figure for Sacramento State, as Kuhns finished with a career-high 14 points and nine rebounds, and junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) scored 11 points.
For the game, Sacramento State was 35-of-81 from the field (43.2 percent), 15-of-39 from beyond the three-point arc (38.5 percent) and 15-of-19 from the foul line (78.9 percent). Despite being outrebounded overall 50-48, and outrebounded on the offensive glass 20-18, the Hornets scored 29 second chance points to Montana's 14.
Montana was led by De Boer's 20 points off the bench, while Lauren Beck chipped in 17. Sarah Ena and Shaunte Nance-Johnson added 10 apiece, with Nance-Johnson dishing out eight assists without a turnover.
Sacramento State starts their stretch of four straight games on the road to end the season at Northern Arizona on Thursday, Feb. 25. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. Pacific Time from Flagstaff.