MOSCOW, Idaho - Sacramento State ended its third game in four days with a 57-48 loss to Idaho on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gym.
The Hornets (1-3), who trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half, trimmed Idaho''s lead to 44-41 with 4:07 remaining after freshman Erika Edwards drained a three-pointer, but could not sustain their run.
The Vandals (1-1) converted five of their free throw attempts and also knocked down two jumpers during the following two and a half minutes on the way to their first victory of the season.
"I thought we played 10 minutes of good basketball altogether," Sacramento State head coach Dan Muscatell said. "The last five minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the game - those were the times we rolled up our sleeves and got to work."
Sacramento State was led by senior guard Stephanie Cherry''s season-high 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including knocking down three shots from beyond the arc. Also scoring in double figures was freshman Kelli Davis. The Pullman, Wash., native scored a career-high 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting, while also adding two steals.
Davis was not the only freshman to set a career high, Edwards added a season-best nine points and also pulled down six rebounds in her 27 minutes off the bench. Freshman guard Ashley Garcia also contributed a career-high four points, playing a season-high 11 minutes.
"It was nice that Kelli and Erika were able to perform well in front of their family and friends," Muscatell said. "Both of them played okay, and I know that they both have more to give. This is just the beginning of what they will be demonstrating over their careers."
The Vandals were led by Katie Madison and Charlotte Otero, who scored 13 point apiece. Madison was just one rebound shy of a double-double, and from the floor shot 5-of-10. Otero failed to make a basket in the run of play, but was a devastating 13-of-15 from the free-throw line.
For the second straight game, Sacramento State and its opponent had a substantial difference in trips to the charity stripe. Idaho finished its night 22-of-29 from the line, while the Hornets were just 6-of-11. Sacramento State also suffered a long night under the boards, surrendering 15 offensive rebounds to Idaho and being outrebounded 42-34 overall. The Hornets also turned the ball over 25 times.
"For the first time all year, I was really disappointed with our overall effort," Muscatell said. "We didn''t come out with an intensity to compete at a high level - we let ourselves down in that area. Our inability to bring a first-class work ethic to the game contributed to a lot of our mistakes."
In the first half, Idaho opened the game with a 10-2 lead after the first three and a half minutes and eventually worked its way to an 11-point advantage, 16-5, with 11:41 remaining. Cherry and senior guard Kim Sheehy combined to knock down three treys on the team''s next three possessions to keep Idaho''s lead manageable.
During the last six minutes of the half, Sacramento State held Idaho scoreless, while racking up six points of its own, and going into the break trailing just 23-22.
The Hornets return to Sacramento after their first road trip of the year is a quick one. The squad leaved for another three-game departure to play in the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic, Friday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Nov. 26. The Hornets'' first game is a 2:05 p.m. (PST) tip off against second-ranked North Carolina.