WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SET FOR BIG SKY TOURNAMENT, CLASH WITH MONTANA STATE
The Big Sky Women’s Basketball Tournament is taking place from Cheney, Wash. for the first time, and in the opening round the third-seeded Sacramento State Hornets will take on the sixth seeded Montana State Bobcats.
The Bobcats have been the nemesis of the Hornets this season, as the sixth seeded club was the only team to sweep the Hornets during the Big Sky regular season. Montana State defeated the Hornets at home on Jan. 16 by a score of 95-86, and picked up an 84-73 victory in Sacramento on Feb. 18.
Junior forward Sarah Strand averaged 17.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game against the Hornets in the two previous meetings this season. Sophomore guard Katie Bussey led the team in scoring during the two game span, averaging 18.5 points per game.
Sacramento State is 0-4 all-time in the Big Sky Tournament, which includes a heartbreaking 78-76 overtime loss to Idaho State in last years opening round. Charday Hunt scored 23 points to lead the Hornets in the contest, while Erika Edwards added 16.
LAST GAME: SACRAMENTO STATE 93, NORTHERN COLORADO 89
The Sacramento State women’s basketball team had three players earn all-Big Sky Conference honors, as announced by the conference on Monday, March 8.
Senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) became the first Hornet since Cindy Alldrin (2005-06) to earn first team all-Big Sky honors, while fellow senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) was a second team honoree. Junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) rounded out the Hornets who were recognized, earning honorable mention honors.
Hunt led the conference in scoring for the season, averaging 18.8 points per game, which ranks 21st in the nation. Hunt ranked second inside of Big Sky play with a 19.1 ppg average, and led the conference in free throws made (173) and attempted (220) during the regular season. The Portland native posted two of the four best scoring efforts in the conference this year, posting 32 points at San Francisco on Jan. 5 and at Northern Arizona on Feb. 25. She reached double figures in 27 of the team’s 29 regular season contests, and scored 20 points or more on 13 occasions. She became the eighth player in school history to record over 1,000 career points, and currently has 1,222 over three seasons. Hunt was a second team selection last year.
Edwards is the Big Sky’s leader in both three-pointers made (75) and three-point percentage (43.6 percent), which places her 14th in the nation. She ranks second in the conference in rebounding overall (8.1 rpg) and in Big Sky play (9.2 rpg). Edwards made a conference best seven three-pointers in the team’s 100-83 victory over Montana on Feb. 20. The Redmond, Wash. native has five double-doubles and eight double-digit rebounding games. She earned all-Big Sky honors for the first time.
Christensen ranked fifth in the conference in scoring both overall (14.1 ppg) and in Big Sky play (15.6 ppg). The El Dorado Hills native also ranks ninth in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and steals (1.6 spg), while ranking in the top 15 in both three-pointers made per game (1.6) and blocked shots (0.7 bpg). She scored in double-figures in 14 of the team’s 16 conference games, and posted five double-doubles. Christensen scored a career-high 26 points in the Hornets 93-89 come from behind victory at Northern Colorado on Feb. 27. She was also honored by the conference for the first time.
Eastern Washington’s Julie Piper was named conference MVP, and was joining on the first team by Hunt, Idaho State’s Oana Iacovita, Portland State’s Claire Faucher, Montana State’s Erica Perry and Northern Colorado’s Whitley Cox. Joining Edwards on the second team were Montana’s Lauren Beck, Northern Arizona’s Amy Patton, Eastern Washington’s Kyla Evans, and Montana State’s Sarah Strand. Strand shared defensive player of the year honors with Eastern Washington’s Brianne Ryan, while Northern Arizona’s Vickey Toney won the top newcomer honor. Patton, along with making the second team, was named most outstanding freshman. Coach of the Year will be announced by the conference next week.
LAST GAME: SACRAMENTO STATE 93, NORTHERN COLORADO 89
The Sacramento State women’s basketball team got a career-high 21 points from senior Ashley Garcia, leading the club to a 75-61 win over Weber State that clinched them the number three seed in the Big Sky Tournament.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 15-14, 10-6 in Big Sky Conference play, while the Wildcats fall to 9-20, 3-13 in conference action.
The Hornets took the first lead in the contest, when junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) sank the first trey of the game only eight seconds in. Both teams then went back and forth until Sacramento State jumped out to a 5-0 run kicking off with another trey, this time from senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) at 16:21 to lead 11-10. Garcia closed out the lopsided scoring efforts for Sac State with a jumper at 12:44 to give the Hornets an early 16-10 lead.
The Wildcats mounted a catch-up effort and at 10:03, Caela Mohre tallied a layup to give Weber State the 19-18 lead. Backed against the wall, the Hornets streaked out to a 9-0 run in less than two minutes, capped off with 8:44 remaining in the half when freshman Mallorie Franco’s (Fortuna, Calif.) jumper gave the Hornets the 27-19 advantage. Weber State, not wanting to go down without a fight, returned the favor with a 6-0 run to come back within a bucket of the Hornets, trailing 27-25 after an Abby Thorderson jumper with 7:05 left to play in the first half.
Sacramento State retaliated with an 11-3 run over the span of the next four minutes, after Garcia sank a trey pushing Sacramento State ahead on the scoreboard 38-28. Weber State tried to stop the bleeding when Amanda Hughes made her only free throw at 2:44, cutting the lead to 38-29. However, the Hornets rallied to close out the first period off a 6-1 run. Garcia netted a fast break jumper with just nine seconds remaining on the clock to seal Sac State’s 44-30 lead at the half.
With a fresh new 20 minutes on the clock, Weber State opened the second half firing as Megan Patterson tallied a jumper in the first 10 seconds of the period to narrow the gap, 44-32. The Wildcats turned that into a 6-0 run until 17:46 when Patterson sank a trey to trail by eight, 44-36. But Sac State fired back on a mini 4-0 run of its own, with buckets from senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) and junior Tika Koshiyama-Diaz to lead 48-36 with 16:37 remaining.
By the 11:03 mark the Wildcats came back within three points of the Hornets, as Mohre’s trey made it a 53-50 game. Unwilling to relinquish the lead, Sacramento State went on a quick 7-0 run in the two minutes to follow, thanks to four points from Hunt as the Hornets led 57-50 by 9:54.
The Hornets’ lead extended to as much as 10 points a 7:16, after Koshiyama-Diaz contributed a trey to extend the lead over the Wildcats, 62-52. Although Weber State tried to come back in the contest, Christensen’s three-pointer at 3:52 extended the lead back to 10 once more, 68-58. Neither team could muster a basket over the next two minutes, as Tonya Schnibbe ended the scoreless drought at 1:38 with a jumper in the paint that brought the Wildcats within eight, 68-60. The lead, however, was just out of reach for Weber State as the Hornets secured the victory during a final 7-1 run as Garcia sank the game’s final layup with 11 seconds remaining.
Garcia led the Hornets with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, a 3-of-5 mark from beyond the three-point arc and a 4-of-4 performance from the foul line. Christensen chipped in her fifth double-double of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Hunt added 16 points, despite shooting just 4-of-18 from the field. She made two three-pointers and was 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Weber State was led by Schnibbe, who finished with 15 points, while Patterson added 14 points and six rebounds.
PREVIOUS GAME: IDAHO STATE 69, SACRAMENTO STATE 67 (OT)
The Sacramento State women’s basketball team came back from a 55-50 deficit with 3:24 remaining to take a three point lead at 58-55 with 22 seconds left in regulation, but fell in overtime to the Idaho State Bengals by a final score of 69-67.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 14-14 overall, 9-6 in Big Sky play, while the Bengals improve to 15-14, 10-6 in the Big Sky Conference. With the Idaho State victory, Eastern Washington has clinched the 2010 Big Sky regular season title, and will host next week’s Big Sky Tournament.
Idaho State held a 52-44 advantage with 5:48 remaining before Sacramento State would go on a comeback to take a late lead. Senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) started the rally with a three-pointer, and junior Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) converted a three-point play to pull the Hornets within two. Chelsea Pickering knocked down a three-pointer to give the Bengals back a five point lead with 3:24 remaining, but Sacramento State would have the answer the next time down the floor, as junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) hit a three-pointer of her own, cutting the ISU lead to 55-53 with 3:08 to play in regulation. Christensen would give the Hornets the lead with 1:34 remaining in the second half, knocking down another trey to put Sacramento State in front 56-55.
The Hornet lead would grow to 58-55 with :22 seconds remaining on an offensive rebound and putback from senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.), but Idaho State would tie it as Morgan Wohltman came off the bench for her lone action of the second half and knocked down the tying three-pointer with :16 seconds remaining. Sacramento State would have the last shot of regulation, but Hunt had her three-point attempt blocked by Andrea Videbeck, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Koshiyama-Diaz scored the first bucket for either club, giving the Hornets a 61-58 lead with a three-pointer. After Ashleigh Vella cut the lead to one with a layup for ISU, Edwards knocked down a three-pointer to give the Hornets a four point edge, 64-60. The Bengals took a 66-64 lead on a 6-0 run with 2:15 remaining until Edwards knocked down her second three-pointer of the overtime session to give Sacramento State a 67-66 lead. The score would remain that way until Videbeck made a layup with :14 seconds remaining, which gave Idaho State a 68-67 lead. Sacramento State turned the ball over coming back down the floor, and the Hornets sent Pickering to the line shooting 1-and-1. She missed the front end, but got her own miss and proceeded to make 1-of-2 during her next foul trip, giving Idaho State a 69-67 lead with less than five seconds remaining. Videbeck would steal the inbound pass and give Idaho State the victory, avenging their only loss in school history to the Hornets which came earlier this season in Sacramento.
Hunt led the way for the Hornets, scoring 16 points while pulling down a career-high 12 rebounds. Edwards, who in the first half was 0-of-7 from the floor and 0-of-6 from three-point territory, knocked down 5-of-6 from three in the second half and overtime to finish with 15 points. Christensen added 13 points and nine boards for the Hornets, while Koshiyama-Diaz and senior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) finished with nine points apiece.
Oana Iacovita and Vella led the Bengals with 18 points apiece, while Pickering scored 13 points off the bench. The Bengals shot 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the floor, outshooting the Hornets who were just 25-of-76 (32.9 percent). The Hornets were able to grab 25 offensive rebounds and convert them into 19 points.
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 1,222 career points, good for sixth place on the team’s all-time charts. Her scoring average of 18.8 points per game ranks 21st 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 79.6 ppg scoring average, which ranks sixth nationally. The Hornets are ranked 4th in the country in three-pointers made per game, knocking down 8.9 per game from beyond 19 feet 9 inches. The team also ranks 9th in the country in assists, averaging 17.5 per contest.
SINGLE-SEASON WATCH LIST
Several Hornets are on the brink of setting new single-season school records. Senior Erika Edwards needs three 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 (173) and free throws attempted (220).
As a team, Sacramento State’s current scoring average of 79.6 would be the second highest scoring average in Big Sky History. The 703 three-pointers attempted by the Hornets are the new conference record, and Sacramento State is also one three-pointer and five 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 75 three’s this season give her 166 for her career. Edwards also ranks third in three-pointers attempted (442), and third in career rebounds (776). 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 353 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 (79.8 percent), fourth in free throws made (344) and fourth in free throws attempted (432). Hunt also ranks in the top 10 in three-point field goal percentage (10th, 34.6 percent), three-pointers made (5th, 118), points (6th, 1,222), scoring average (8th, 14.0), three-pointers attempted (8th, 341), field goals attempted (6th, 1019), and field goals made (T-8th, 380).
Senior Ashley Garcia is probable (Elbow).
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. Assistant media relations director J.D. Fox will have the play-by-play call of each contest in the tournament. Each Hornet contest will be on the air 15 minutes prior to tipoff with the coach Jamie Craighead show. The Sacramento State audio broadcast for the matchup against Montana State will also be featured on the Big Sky TV feed.
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.