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CHRISTENSEN SCORES 17 OFF THE BENCH AS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ROUTS NORTHERN COLORADO 71-53
GREELEY, Colo. - Sophomore Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) scored 17 points and junior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) scored all 19 of her points in the second half, as the Hornets took care of Northern Colorado on the road by a score of 71-53.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 5-16 overall, 3-5 in Big Sky Conference play, while the Bears fall to 9-11, 3-4 inside of the Big Sky. The game marked the largest margin of victory on the road for the Hornets since they took home a 25 point victory (87-62) at Cal Poly on Feb. 8, 1996.
The Hornets trailed 26-23 at the half, with the team shooting just 7-of-24 from the field (29.2 percent) during the first 20 minutes of play. The second half saw the Hornets mount an early 7-2 run to take a 30-28 lead on a three-pointer by freshman Nneka Payne (Auburn, Wash.). After the Bears clawed to tie the score at 34-34 with 14:16 remaining, the Hornets went on a 25-8 run over the next 7:58 to take a 17 point lead at 59-42.
The lead grew to 20 at 69-49 with 2:44 remaining on a three-pointer by Hunt, and the Hornets held on to record the 71-53 victory.
The Hornets torched the nets in the second half, as they shot 17-of-32 (53.1 percent) from the field, 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) from behind the three-point arc and a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line. Sacramento State also stepped up on the defensive end, allowing the Bears to shoot just 7-of-29 (24.1 percent) in the second half, including just 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
"In the second half we stepped up our intensity and took Northern Colorado out of what they wanted to do offensively," head coach Dan Muscatell said following the win. "Offensively, we were able to find answers to their zone by sharing the basketball and knocking down open shots."
Senior Atty Boyer (Sacramento, Calif.) posted her fifth double-double of the season, and 12th of her career, scoring 14 points and securing a game-high 10 rebounds. Boyer also added a career-high six blocks, and did not turn the ball over in 37 minutes of action.
"Atty ran up and down the floor well and really played hard tonight for us," Muscatell said. "She got up high to block shots and was a strong force for us on the defensive end."
After not attempting a shot and playing just six minutes due to foul trouble in the first half, Hunt, the team's leading scorer, went 5-of-10 from the field in the second half, including a 3-of-5 mark from beyond the three-point arc and a 6-of-6 performance from the foul line. Christensen, who played a season-high 30 minutes off the bench, was 6-of-10 from the field, adding five rebounds, three assists and a career-high six steals.
"Charday came out and got the job done in the second half after struggling a bit in the first before she picked up her second foul," Muscatell said. "I thought Emily was really efficient tonight and made good decisions with the basketball. She went up strong inside and got away from taking the fade away shots she's being trying in the post lately."
The Hornets out rebounded the Bears 37-36, and held a 32-22 advantage in points in the paint. Northern Colorado, who was without second leading scorer Whitley Cox, was led by Courtney Stoermer's 15 points, while Cassie Lambrecht (13 points) and Kate Kevorken (10 points) also scored in double-figures.
Sacramento State returns home on Thursday, February 5 as they take on the Eastern Washington Eagles. Tipoff is schediled for 7:05 p.m. from the Hornets Nest.
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