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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL STAYS IN BIG SKY TOURNAMENT HUNT WITH 59-53 WIN OVER WEBER STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Junior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) scored a game-high 18 points, while junior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Sacramento State women’s basketball team posted a 59-53 victory over Weber State on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Hornets Nest.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 8-20 overall, 6-9 in Big Sky Conference play, while the Wildcats fell to 9-19, 4-11 inside the Big Sky. Following the days Big Sky action, the Hornets currently stand alone in fifth place, with the top six teams making the Big Sky Tournament. Complete updated standings are listed in the notes section at the end of the release.
Weber State came out of the gates strong, opening the game on an 8-0 run to take what would be their largest lead of the game at the 18:06 mark of the first half. The Hornets went on a 9-2 run over the next 2:37 to trail just two points at 11-9. After Weber State pushed the lead back to 15-9, the Hornets went on a 8-2 run to tie the game for the first time at 17-17 with 10:51 remaining on a layup by Edwards.
The Hornets first lead came with 9:29 remaining in the half, as freshman Nneka Payne (Auburn, Wash.) made her only shot attempt of the game, a three-pointer, to give the Hornets a 22-19 lead. The lead grew to 24-19 the next time down the floor, as senior Atty Boyer (Sacramento, Calif.) scored on a driving layup, however, Weber State would hold the Hornets without points the next 5:31, and Sacramento State would score just two points the final 8:35 of the half. Weber State took advantage to build a 29-26 halftime advantage.
Sacramento State started the second half on a 5-0 run to take a 31-29 lead on the strength of an 18-footer by junior Ashley Garcia (Antioch, Calif.) and a three-pointer by Edwards. Weber State responded with a 7-0 run to take a five point advantage at 36-31 with 15:05 remaining in regulation.
The Weber State lead would grow no larger than five, but they would hold the lead until the Hornets put together an 11-0 run, after trailing 51-46 with 3:48 remaining, to lead 57-51 with :42 seconds remaining. Sophomore Emily Christensen (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) started the run with an offensive rebound and a put back layup, which was followed by a driving layup by sophomore Jasmine Cannady (Sacramento, Calif.) that went in as the shot clock expired. From there, Hunt took over, scoring on driving layups the next two possessions, with the later resulting in an old fashioned three-point play. Edwards closed the run with a 2-of-2 trip at the line, and the Hornets closed the game out with sophomore Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.) hitting 2-of-2 at the foul line as well, accounting for the final score of 59-53 in favor of the Hornets.
“We made some absolutely big plays at big moments in the contest,” head coach Dan Muscatell said following the win. “Jasmine’s drive and finish at the end of the shot clock, Charday taking it strong to the hole late, getting that three-point play, were both very big. I thought Erika and Emily throughout the game stepped up and competed hard and got us some important hoops when we needed them as well.
“Everyone had their hand in it, up and down the roster. Whether they were the one setting the screen or delivering a pass, I felt that we played really well as a team today.”
Hunt’s 18 points came on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, a 2-of-4 mark from beyond the three-point arc, and a 2-of-3 performance at the foul line. Edwards collected her eighth career double-double and sixth of the season, scoring her 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, while adding her 11th double-figure rebounding performance of the season with 10 boards. She played 39 minutes total, also adding two assists and two steals without committing a turnover.
“All weekend, both games, you knew that it was February, just about March, when people are playing with such high intensity on both ends of the floor,” Muscatell said. “It was just an absolute battle, and credit Weber State, because they knew they needed to win today and they played extremely hard. We withstood their run right away to begin the game, hung in their throughout, and then finished the game on a run of our own.”
The Hornets, who shot 23-of-62 (37,1 percent) from the field on the afternoon, were outrebounded by the Wildcats 50-32, with Weber State collected 13 second chance points on 21 offensive rebounds. Sacramento State forced 19 Weber State turnovers, and turned them into 19 points, while committing a season-low nine turnovers.
“Our number one offensive goal on the board in our locker room was to limit turnovers,” Muscatell said.
Weber State was led by Caitlin Anderson, who posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Tonya Schnibbe added 14 points, but on a 6-of-20 performance from the field.
The Hornets had beaten the Wildcats just once previously in school history entering the season, but collected a regular season sweep of Weber State for the first time ever, They also continue to add to a school record for conference victories, pushing their total now to six.
Following the game, close to 100 kids took part in the Pepsi Kids Day Clinic, run by coach Muscatell, the Sacramento State coaching staff, and the Hornet players.
The Hornets return to action on Saturday, March 7 for their final regular season contest of the year when they host Northern Colorado. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Prior to the game the Hornets will hold senior day ceremonies for Atty Boyer.
Updated Big Sky Conference Standings (Through 2/28 Games)
1. Montana 13-1
Portland State 13-1
3. Montana State 7-7
4. Idaho State 7-8
5. Sacramento State 6-9
6. Eastern Washington 5-9
Northern Colorado 5-9
8. Northern Arizona 5-10
9. Weber State 4-11
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