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WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SEES SEASON END IN 78-76 OVERTIME TOURNAMENT LOSS TO IDAHO STATE
MISSOULA, Mont. - The fifth seeded Sacramento State women's basketball team fell to the fourth seeded Idaho State Bengals by a final score of 78-76 in overtime in the quarterfinal round of the Big Sky Conference Tournament on Thursday, March 12.
With the loss, the Hornets end their season with a record of 9-21, which included a 7-9 mark in Big Sky Conference regular season play. The seven conference wins marks the most in school history.
Trailing 65-64 with 1:29 to play in regulation, the Hornets received a crucial 17-footer from junior Charday Hunt (Portland, Ore.) to take a 66-65 lead. The lead grew to 68-65 with :40 seconds remaining on a driving jumper by Tika Koshiyama-Diaz (San Jose, Calif.), but Idaho State countered with a jumper from Jenna Brown that pulled the Bengals to within one at 68-67 with :31 seconds to play. After Koshiyama-Diaz made 1-of-2 at the line, Brown drove the length of the floor to lay the ball in with :03 seconds to play, tying the score at 69-69. Hunt tried a shot from half court that was ruled after the buzzer, and the two teams went to overtime.
In the extra session, the Hornets scored the first four points to take a 73-69 lead, as Hunt converted a pair of free throws and senior Atty Boyer (Sacramento, Calif.) added a jumper. The Bengals then scored the next seven points, as Brown made a jumper in the paint, Michelle Grohs and Brown knocked down a pair of free throws and Devin Diehl made 1-of-2 at the line, giving the Bengals a three-point lead at 76-73. With :19 seconds remaining, Koshiyama-Diaz knocked down a three-pointer from 21 feet out to tie the score at 76-76.
The final possession saw the Bengals go to what had worked for the majority of the game, a high pick-and-roll set between Brown and Oana Iacovita. Brown, who had driven the ball strong to the basket throughout the game, was cut off by Koshiyama-Diaz, and was forced to feed the ball to the 6-foot-2 Iacovita, who buried a 19-footer with :0.6 seconds remaining to give the Bengals a 78-76 lead. The Hornets were unable to get a final shot off, and Idaho State took home the victory.
The two teams had gone to the locker room after the first half of play tied at 37-37, with the Hornets holding as large as a seven point lead, 22-15, with 10:37 to go in the half. Idaho State took their largest lead of the game in the second half of play, 63-58, with 6:53 to play in regulation, before the Hornets went on a 6-0 run to take a 64-63 lead.
"It was one heck of a basketball game," head coach Dan Muscatell said in the postgame press conference. "We brought a group of kids to Missoula who thought they could win the game. They were a focused group and felt they could get to that semifinal game, but it wasn't to be."
Hunt tied for game-high scoring honors with 23 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the field, including an 8-of-8 performance from the foul line. Boyer closed out her career with a fine effort, scoring 18 points and providing a career-high tying 13 rebounds.
"I didn't want this to be my last game," Boyer said in the postgame press conference. "I'm proud of my team. I'm glad our team made school history and I was able to be part of that."
Junior Erika Edwards (Redmond, Wash.) added 16 points and six rebounds, while Koshiyama-Diaz finished with 10 points, rounding out four Hornets in double-figures.
Idaho State, who finished the game shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc, was led by Brown's 23 points. Grohs provided a double-double, scoring 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Sheila Adams scored 16 points and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, including 4-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
The Hornets, who made the tournament for just the third time since joining the conference, went 30-of-75 from the field (40.0 percent), and outrebounded the Bengals 42-35, including 16 offensive rebounds which led to 17 second chance points.
Big Sky Tournament photos courtesy Jerek Wolcott and Eric Connolly
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