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Box Score/Play by Play
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL DROPS EASTERN WASHINGTON 73-70 TO PICK UP FIRST CONFERENCE WIN
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Freshman Sami Field-Polisso (Mountain View, Calif.) led all scorers with a career-high 21 points, as the Sacramento State Hornets defeated the Eastern Washington Eagles 73-70, on Sat., Jan. 5 at the Hornets Nest.
With the victory, the Hornets improve to 3-11 overall, and 1-1 in Big Sky Conference action, while the Eagles fall to 3-12, and 0-2 in the Big Sky.
Playing without leading their leading scorer, junior center Atty Boyer, the Hornets fought tooth and nail with the Eagles throughout much of the first half, a half that saw six ties and 14 lead changes. With the Hornets trailing 36-35 with just seconds remaining in the half, junior Jourdan Willard (Sacramento, Calif.) rebounded a missed three-pointer by the Eagles and found Field-Polisso, who knocked down a shot from just steps inside of half court before the buzzer sounded, giving the Hornets a 38-36 halftime lead.
The second half saw Eastern Washington retake a one point lead on two occasions in the halves early stages, including a layup by Sydney Benson with 17:15 remaining that put the Eagles back on top 41-40. It marked, however, the Eagles last lead, as freshman Jasmine Cannady (Sacramento, Calif.) went on a 6-0 run by herself in a span of 1:30 to five the Hornets a five point lead. They would go on to take a eight point lead, their largest of the game, at the 10:48 mark as sophomore Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) knocked down a jumper from the high post, and the insuing inbound pass was stolen by freshman Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) who layed it in to give the Hornets a 54-48 advantage.
The Eagles were not done, however, as Nicole Scott poured in six points during a 7-1 run Eastern Washington run, cutting the Hornet lead to one at 57-56, with 7:01 remaining. Following two made free-throws by Field-Polisso, Scott again scored on a jumper from the high post, cutting the lead once again down to one point with 6:01 remaining. The Hornets then embarked on a 5-0 run to bring the lead back to six points, where it would remain until two seconds remained in the contest, as Katy Baker was layed in a basket and connected on a free throw to pull the Eagles back to within three. Edwards was able to throw a home run pass to freshman Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), who ran out the clock to give the Hornets their first conference victory.
The Eagles were paced by Benson's 18 points, while Scott posted a double-double off of the Eastern Washington bench, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Eagles outrebounded the Hornets by a margin of 47-33, converting 19 offensive rebounds into 11 second chance points. They also outscored the Hornets in the paint 28-8, as Sacramento State was held without a field goal in the paint for the entire first half of play.
Field-Polisso's career-high 21 points was supplemented by an 8-of-10 performance from the free throw line in the second half, as she failed to convert a field goal in the second half after going 5-of-8 in the first stanza. For the second straight game, Cannady matched her career-high with 10 points, on 4-of-8 shooting from the field. Sophomore Charday Hunt (Oregon City, Ore.) and Edwards finished with nine points a piece, while Christensen added eight points off the Hornet bench.
"I was really pleased with the effort all the way through the lineup," head coach Dan Muscatell said. "The inside players especially, playing without Atty (Boyer) our leading scorer and second leading rebounder, gave a great committee effort with Erika (Edwards), Becca (Reams), Jo (Willard) and Darla (Bishop) all coming in and all working hard to maintain what we could on the inside. It also speaks tremendously of the team and the character of the individuals we have that they are not going to let that be an excuse or a reason that we're not going to get it done, we're just going to work through it, and they did."
The Hornets shot just 39.7 percent from the field (23-of-58) and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-28), but were able to knock down 18-of-23 attempts from the foul line (78.3 percent).
Sacramento State travels next to take on Montana and Montana State to start a three game stand away from the Hornets Nest. The Hornets will take on the Montana State Bobcats on Jan. 10, and the Montana Lady Griz on Jan. 12. Both games will tipoff 6:05 p.m. Pacific Time.
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