CHANCE TO HOST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT ON THE LINE AS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL HITS THE ROAD
The Sacramento State women’s basketball team has clinched a berth in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, but the outcome of this weeks’ games at Idaho State and Weber State will determine their seeding. The Hornets are the only team in the tournament field of six that could finish anywhere from the first seed to the sixth seed. Eastern Washington will either be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, while the other four teams can finish anywhere from the No. 2-6 seed.
Sacramento State is a game back of conference leader Eastern Washington in the loss column, meaning a Hornet sweep coupled with an Eagles loss to Portland State would secure Sacramento State the number one overall seed to the tournament, which would then take place in Sacramento. Any Hornet loss, or an Eastern Washington win at home against the Vikings would give the Eagles the number one seed, and the tournament would head to Cheney, Wash.
A win over Idaho State is needed for the Hornets to be able to secure a first round bye in the tournament by becoming one of the top two seeds. The best the Hornets could do if they lose to the Bengals is the number three seed in the tournament.
LAST GAME: SACRAMENTO STATE 93, NORTHERN COLORADO 89
The Sacramento State women’s basketball team came back from a deficit that grew as large as 18 points in the first half to defeat the Northern Colorado Bears 93-89, taking over sole possession of second place in the Big Sky Conference, and clinching a berth in the Big Sky Tournament.
With the victory, the Hornets improve to 14-13 overall, 9-5 in the Big Sky, and have now won 10 of their last 11 games. The Bears fell to 13-15, 5-9 in the Big Sky. With Eastern Washington losing at Idaho State tonight, the Hornets are a game back in the loss column to the Eagles and could share the regular season title with an Eastern Washington loss to Portland State at home next weekend, and a pair of victories over Idaho State and Weber State.
Sacramento State trailed 46-28 with 1:25 remaining in the first half, and the Bears held a 46-30 lead at intermission. Northern Colorado led for the majority of the second half as well, commanding a 65-51 lead with 12:26 to go before the Hornets came storming back. Senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to 11 points, and freshman Kylie Kuhns (Salem, Ore.) converted a layup to cut the deficit to 65-56.
After Whitley Cox buried a three-pointer to push the lead back to 12, junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) scored five straight points, connecting on a three-pointer and a fastbreak layup to cut the lead to 68-61. After the Bears’ Lara Merritt made 1-of-2 at the line to push the lead back to 69-61, junior Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) and senior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) made a pair of fast break layups, sandwiched between a Cox layup, to cut the lead to 71-65 with 7:43 remaining. Edwards would then connect on a rare four-point play, pulling the Hornets to within two points at 71-69. The rare four point possession capped a 16-4 run by the Hornets.
Kaisha Brown added three more points to the Northern Colorado lead with 6:45 to play on a trifecta, making the lead five points at 74-69, before the Hornets would make a surge to tie it. Freshman Mallorie Franco (Fortuna, Calif.) converted a pair of free throws, and senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up for two points, cutting the lead to 74-73. After Cox made a pair of free throws, Koshiyama-Diaz buried a deep three-pointer to tie the score at 76-76 with 4:45 to play.
The Bears fought back to score four straight points, with Cox’s two free throws pushing the lead back to 80-76 in favor of homestanding Northern Colorado. But Edwards would again knock down a clutch three-pointer to cut the lead to one, 80-79, with 3:32 to play. After Cox again knocked down two free throws, Christensen was able to knock down 1-of-2 at the stripe to keep the lead at two points, 82-80, with 2:49 to go.
After Northern Colorado’s Courtney Stoermer knocked down two free throws, Hunt did the same for the Hornets, maintaining the Bears slim 84-82 lead. The Hornets then took the lead for the first time in the game when Edwards buried her fifth three-pointer of the contest, putting Sacramento State in front 85-84 with 1:16 remaining. After a Northern Colorado turnover, Christensen knocked down a three of her own to push the Hornet advantage to 88-84 with :40 seconds remaining.
The Hornets would then ice the game at the foul line, making 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch, including a crucial pair by Garcia with 14.3 seconds remaining, to give the Hornets the victory and clinch their spot into the postseason tournament.
After being outscored in the first half 46-30, Sacramento State scored 63 second half points, outscoring the Bears by a total of 63-43 over the final 20 minutes. After making just 6-of-25 from the field in the first half (24.0 percent), the Hornets were 18-of-32 from the field (56.3 percent) and 9-of-11 from three-point range (81.8) in the second half to take home the victory. For the contest, Sacramento State was a season-high 34-of-42 from the foul line, knocking down 18-of-22 (81.8 percent) in the second half.
Christensen tallied a career-high 26 points to lead five players in double figures for the Hornets. The junior was 8-of-21 from the field, 3-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc and 7-of-12 from the charity stripe. Edwards finished with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arc and a 1-for-1 performance from the foul line, while grabbing seven rebounds. Koshiyama-Diaz added 16 points of her own, while dishing out eight assists despite tweeking her ankle early in the first half. Kuhns and Hunt finished with 10 points apiece, with Hunt pulling down a game-high eight rebounds.
PREVIOUS GAME: SACRAMENTO STATE 104, NORTHERN ARIZONA 98
Paced by three players who scored 20 or more points apiece, the Sacramento State women’s basketball team posted a historic 104-98 victory over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, which marked their school record eighth Big Sky Conference victory, on Thu., Feb 25.
The 104 points scored by Sacramento State marked the third most in school history, and second most in a regulation 40 minute game.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with three times and 15 lead changes. Northern Arizona took their largest lead of the contest, 18-12, with 13:55 remaining before the Hornets would come back to take their largest margin of the half, 36-32 with 6:08 left before intermission. The two teams, who were evenly matched through the opening 20 minutes, went into halftime with the Lumberjacks holding a small lead at 56-55.
In a game featuring the league’s top two scorers, Hornet senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) and Lumberjack freshman Amy Patton, neither failed to disappoint in the high-scoring affair. In the first half alone, both eclipsed their scoring averages, as Hunt went for 20 first half points and Patton was not far behind with 19. Both squads shot 50.0 percent or better in the half, with NAU going 23-of-45 from the field (51.1 percent) and Sacramento State posting shooting numbers of 21-of-42 (50.0 percent).
After the two teams traded the first few baskets of the second half, junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) converted a layup to give the Hornets a 60-59 advantage with 18:48 remaining, and Sacramento State would not trail from that point forward. In fact, after holding onto a slim 68-66 lead with 15:31 left, Sacramento State would go on a 21-8 run over the next 6:54 to take a 15 point lead at 89-74. During the stretch of play, junior Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) knocked down a pair of three-pointers and also added a layup for eight points.
But Northern Arizona would fight back, outscoring the Hornets 24-10 over the course of 5:45 minutes action, with Patton converting a layup which pulled NAU to within one point, 99-98, with 1:09 to go. Sacramento State would have the answer, as Hunt would drive the lane and dish off a cross-post pass to freshman Kylie Kuhns (Salem, Ore.) who converted a layup and the ensuing foul shot to give the Hornets a 102-98 lead with :51 seconds remaining. After the Lumberjacks missed a pair of chances to cut into the lead, the Hornets did an excellent job of playing keep away, exausting almost the entire 30 second shot clock before finally fouling. Senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) made both free throws, her only points of the night, and Sacramento State held on for the 104-98 win.
Hunt finished the contest with a career-high tying 32 points, as the senior went 13-of-26 from the field, 1-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc and 5-of-7 from the foul line in 37 minutes, while also dishing out a career-high tying five assists. She has now scored more than 20 points in eight of her last nine contests.
Christensen scored above 20 points for the third time this season, adding 21 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes. Koshiyama-Diaz ended the contest with a career-high 20 points, which included a career-best 6-of-8 performance from beyond the three-point arc.
Off the bench, Kuhns posted her third double-double of the season, tying her career-high with 14 points, while pulling down 10 rebounds in 29 minutes. Senior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) rounded out five Hornets in double figures with 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers.
More history was made in the contest, as Edwards finished with six rebounds, which moved her above 750 for her career. She becomes the third member of the Hornet 750 point, 750 rebound club, joining Kristy Ryan (1991-94) and Heidi Carroll (1983-86).
Sacramento State finished the contest with season highs in points (104), made field goals (38) and field goal percentage (48.1 percent).
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 1,190 career points, good for sixth place on the team’s all-time charts. Her scoring average of 19.0 points per game ranks 19th nationally.
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 80.2 ppg scoring average, which ranks sixth nationally. The Hornets are ranked 5th in the country in three-pointers made per game, knocking down 8.6 per game from beyond 19 feet 9 inches. The team also ranks 8th in the country in assists, averaging 17.7 per contest.
SINGLE-SEASON WATCH LIST
Several Hornets are on the brink of setting new single-season school records. Senior Erika Edwards needs 10 three-pointers to become the school’s single-season leader in the category, and her 43.8 percent mark from beyond the three-point arc would rank first in school history if the season ended today. Senior Charday Hunt is currently second in single-season history in free throws made (166) and free throws attempted (209).
As a team, Sacramento State’s current scoring average of 80.2 would be the highest ever scoring average in Big Sky History. The 703 three-pointers attempted by the Hornets are the new conference record, and Sacramento State is also 27 three-pointers and150 field goal attempts away from setting new conference marks.
EDWARDS AND HUNT MARCH UP MULTIPLE CAREER CHARTS
Senior Erika Edwards has moved up to third in the school’s all-time three-pointers made list, as her 68 three’s this season give her 159 for her career. Edwards also ranks third in three-pointers attempted (425), and third in career rebounds (761). She ranks second in school history in free throw percentage (80.9 percent). She is already the team’s all-time leader in fouls, committing 348 over 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 fourth in school history in free throw percentage (80.0 percent), fourth in free throws made (337) and fourth in free throws attempted (421). Hunt also ranks in the top 10 in three-point field goal percentage (10th, 34.3 percent), three-pointers made (5th, 113), points (6th, 1,190), scoring average (8th, 14.0), three-pointers attempted (8th, 329), field goals attempted (6th, 981), and field goals made (T-8th, 370).
Junior Tika Koshiyama-Diaz is probable for this weekend (ankle).
Junior Jasmine Cannady suffered an achilles 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
The next Hornet action available on www.hornetsports.com will be the Big Sky Tournament. If the tournament takes place in Sacramento, Media Relations Director Brian Berger and Assistant Director J.D. Fox will share the play-by-play duties. If the tournament takes place in Cheney, Wash., J.D. Fox will have the call. Each Hornet contest will be on the air 15 minutes prior to tipoff with the coach Jamie Craighead show.
BIG SKY TV...FREE AS FREE CAN BE
Every Hornet home contest, as well as every Big Sky road contest will be broadcast on Big Sky TV, located on the web at www.bigskytv.org. The Big Sky Conference entered into a new agreement with B2 Networks this past summer, and the partnership between the two organization will allow fans to watch games for free on their computer once again this season.