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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL DOWNED BY PORTLAND STATE 74-65
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team dropped a 74-65 decision to the visiting Portland State Vikings on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Hornets Nest.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 6-17 overall, 4-6 inside of the Big Sky Conference, while the Vikings improve to 16-7 overall, 9-1 inside the Big Sky.
After Sacramento State scored the game's first basket, a driving layup by junior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.), Portland State took a 17-8 lead to open the contest. The lead remained at nine points, 23-14, with 9:48 remaining before the Hornets mounted a 13-4 run to tie the score at 27-27 with 5:20 remaining. Freshman Nneka Payne (Auburn, Wash.) then had her hand in the Hornets final three scores of the half, finding sophomore Sami Field-Polisso (Mountain View, Calif.) for a back door layup and then hitting a pair of three-pointers, closing the Portland State lead to 36-35 at the half.
Portland State opened up the gap to start the second half, mounting a 12-0 run over the first 3:56 to increase their lead to 48-35. Sacramento State then pulled the game back to within one with a large run of their own, as they outscored Portland State 16-4 over the next 6:04. Junior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) capped the run with a long three-pointers, pulling the score to 52-51 in favor of the Vikings with 10 minutes remaining.
In a game that was all about runs, the Vikings would again have the answer, going on a 10-0 run to take a 61-51 lead with 6:45 remaining. Portland State led by 12 points at 65-53 with 2:51 left to play before Sacramento State would pull together one final push. Sophomore Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) started the rally with a three-pointer, and Edwards quickly followed with one of her own to pull the Hornets to within six at 65-59 with 1:48 to play. After a 1-for-2 trip at the line for the Vikings' Clair Faucher, the Hornets cut the lead down to three as senior Atty Boyer (Sacramento, Calif.) and Garcia each knocked down a pair of free throws to make the score 66-63 with 1:03 remaining.
After a pair of free throws by Kelsey Kahle that gave Portland State a five point advantage, Field-Polisso made a driving layup to once again pull the Hornets to within three points at 68-65 with :50 seconds to play. Kahle then went 1-of-2 at the line, and on the inbounds play the Hornets found Boyer streaking toward the basket, but her driving layup rattled in-and-out, and Portland State hit 5-of-6 free throws to close the game out, taking home a 74-65 victory.
The Hornets, who shot just 33.3 percent (22-of-66) for the contest, were led by Boyer and Payne, who produced 11 points apiece, while Edwards added 10 points. Boyer (nine rebounds) and Edwards (seven rebounds) also led the Hornets on the glass. The Vikings held Sacramento State's leading scorer, junior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) to just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.
"I thought our effort was tremendous today, and that it was kept us within striking distance despite our shooting woes," head coach Dan Muscatell said. "We are beginning to prove that we belong and that we are able to play with the elite team's in our conference."
Portland State, who outrebounded the Hornets 49-39, was led by Kelli Valentine, who scored 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 performance from the foul line. Kahle added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but was just 2-of-9 from the field, relying on 9-of-12 shooting from the foul strip to make double-figures. Faucer filled the stat sheet with nine points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals in 32 minutes of action.
The Hornets return to action on Thursday, Feb. 12 as they travel to Missoula, Mont. to take on the Montana Grizzlies. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Pacific Time.
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