HUNT SCORES 25, TWO OTHERS POST DOUBLE-DOUBLES AS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TAKES DOWN EASTERN WASHINGTON
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Junior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) scored 25 points, while junior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) added 15 points and 13 rebounds, and sophomore Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) pitched in 10 points and 10 rebounds, as the Sacramento State women's basketball team defeated Eastern Washington, 74-67, on Thursday, Feb. 5 at the Hornets Nest.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 6-16 overall, 4-5 in Big Sky Conference play, while the Eagles fell to 9-13 overall, 4-5 inside the Big Sky. The victory moves the Hornets into a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings with Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado, who fell to Weber State in Ogden by a score of 66-55.
The team's traded the lead back and forth early, as Hunt kept the Hornets in the game early by connecting on her team's first eight points. With the score tied 17-17 with 8:23 remaining, Sacramento State took the game over, closing the half on a 20-4 run to take a 37-21 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Hornets took their largest lead of the game at 61-41 with 9:55 remaining before Eastern Washington mounted a comeback. The Eagles outscored Sacramento State 21-3 over the next 6:35, pulling to within two points at 64-62 with 3:20 remaining. The Hornets responded with a 6-2 run to take a six point lead, 70-64, with :36 seconds remaining on an Edwards 15-footer, but the Eagles would quickly cut it the lead in half on a three-point play by Chene Cooper with :28 reconds left in the contest. From there, the Hornets went 4-of-4 from the foul line to close out the 74-67 victory.
As a team, Sacramento State shot 53.8 percent (28-of-52) for the game, including a 59.1 percent (13-of-22) mark in the second half of a play. The Hornets also outrebounded the Eagles 42-30, but Eastern Washington forced 23 Sacramento State turnovers, including 15 in the second half of play, to climb back into the contest.
"For as big of a mess the game turned in for us down the stretch, I was proud of our free throw shooting and overall execution during the final two minutes of the game," head coach Dan Muscatell said following the win.
The Eagles, who shot 40.6 percent (28-of-69), were led by Nicole Scott, who scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds. Amy Bratvold scored 10 points, while Julie Piper posted a near double-double, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Hunt finished two shy of her career-high of 27 points, which she set against Montana State last month. She was 10-of-17 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc and 3-of-5 from the foul line. Edwards, normally known for her outside shooting, did all of her damage in the paint, scoring 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 5-of-5 from the foul line.
"Charday (Hunt) was our offense during the first eight minutes of the game, she was very aggressive for the entire game, and her teammates did a good job of finding her," Muscatell said. "I challenged Erika (Edwards) to defend Julie Piper, and play a big role in our offense. Piper ended up with eight rebounds, but they were all in the first half. I was really proud of her effort."
Christensen was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-5 from the foul line, on her way to 10 points. Sophomore Jasmine Cannady (Sacramento, Calif.) scored eight points off the Hornet bench, while junior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) pitched in a career-high six.
"Emily (Christensen) did a great job utilizing her strength on both ends of the floor tonight," Muscatell said. "I thought she got better as the game went on."
Eastern Washington held senior Atty Boyer (Sacramento, Calif.), the Hornets second leading scorer, without a shot in the contest, but the Sacramento State bench out produced the Eagles 26-17, making up the scoring difference.
The Hornets host co-conference leader Portland State on Saturday afternoon at the Hornets Nest. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.