WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS IN BIG SKY QUARTERFINAL TO MONTANA STATE
CHENEY, Wash. - The third-seeded Sacramento State women's basketball team fell in the opening round of the 2010 Big Sky Tournament to the sixth-seeded Montana State Bobcats by a score of 89-66 on Thursday, March 11 at Reese Court.
With the loss, the Hornets finished the season 15-15, their best record since the 1994-95 season. Montana State improved to 17-13 and will play top-seeded Eastern Washington Eagles on Friday, March 12 at 6 p.m.
In the third meeting between the two clubs this season, both team's struggled to score over the first three minutes. Senior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) then scored six straight points, giving the Hornets an early 8-2 lead with 15:20 remaining. The Bobcats came back with a 9-0 run to take an 11-8 lead with 13:12 remaining. Montana State would not trail the rest of the half, shooting 50.0 percent (20-40) from the field over the opening 20 minutes to take a 45-31 lead into intermission.
The Bobcats were led by Sarah Strand in the first half as the junior scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, while grabbing six rebounds. Junior Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) led the Hornets with 11 points and six rebounds, while Hunt finished the half with nine points.
Sacramento State scored the opening points of the half on a pair of free throws by senior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.), pulling to within 12 points at 45-33 with 18:44 remaining in regulation, the Hornets would pull as close as 12 points once more in the half on freshman Kylie Kuhns' (Salem, Ore.) layup with 17:50 remaining, 47-35, but would draw no closer the rest of the contest. The Bobcats took as large as a 28 point lead before picking up the 89-66 victory.
Montana State shot an even 50 percent for the game, going 35-of-70 from the field, which contrasted the Hornets shooting just 24-of-82 (29.3 percent) for the contest.
Hunt and Christensen led the Hornets with 15 points apiece, with Christensen picking up her sixth double-double of the season, grabbing a team-high 11 boards. Garcia finished with 11 points, while fellow senior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) finished with eight points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes. The Hornet senior class finished their career with a combined 2,505 points and 1,321 rebounds.
As a team, Sacramento State broke a pair of Big Sky records in the game, converting on the most three-pointers made in a season and the most field goal attempted.
Katie Bussey led the Bobcats with 21 points, while Janette Jackson, a 5-8 guard, posted 12 points and 16 rebounds in the contest. Montana State swept all three meetings between the two clubs this season.