WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WINS THRILLER, 70-69, AGAINST LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
Natasha Torgerson hit the game-winning jumper with 40 seconds left against LMU.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sophomore Natasha Torgerson hit the eventual game-winning jumper with just 40 seconds left and the Hornets held on for thrilling 70-69 victory over Loyola Marymount on Monday night at The Nest.
The Hornets improve to 1-3 on the young season while the Lions slide to 2-2, with both losses coming to Big Sky Conference teams (Idaho State and Sacramento State).
Loyola Marymount had a seven point lead with just over seven minutes left to play but the Hornets rallied back, closing out the game on an 11-3 run to earn their first win of the year. Everyone chipped in at the end, with five different Sacramento State players hitting shots or free throws down the stretch, but it was Torgerson, who capped off a career game, that nailed the winning shot. The 6-foot-2 center pulled up near the free throw line and buried the shot after Tika Koshiyama-Diaz drove the lane and kicked out the pass.
The Hornets appeared to ice the game when Mallorie Franco was fouled with seven seconds left after both Alex Cowling and Candice Nichols missed shots for LMU. But Franco did not connect on the front end of a 1-and-1 and Hazel Ramirez had a chance for the LMU win with a half-court shot but the ball bounced hard and high off the backboard and didn't fall.
Torgerson had career-highs in both points and rebounds after scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 boards. Her previous career-highs were seven points in the Hornets previous game this season against Nevada and five rebounds versus UNLV on Nov. 19, 2009. The sophomore is averaging 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20.5 minutes after tallying 1.2 points and 1.4 boards in 6.4 minutes per game as a freshman.
Kylie Kuhns had another standout game for the Hornets, nearly hitting a triple-double for the second straight game. After posting 20 points, a career-high 18 rebounds and six assists against Nevada on Nov. 17, the sophomore forward tallied eight points, 11 rebounds and a career-high nine assists. It was the first game this season she did not post a double-double but Kuhns has had at least 11 boards in each of the first four games this year.
Jasmine Cannady also had eight points against Loyoloa Marymount, to go with one rebound and two steals in her first start of the season. Tika Koshiyama-Diaz had a balanced night with six points on two big 3-point baskets in the second half and five rebounds and seven assists.
LMU was led by Alex Cowling, who had 28 points and 14 rebounds. The forward had a double-double by halftime with 16 points and 10 boards. Camille Buckley also grabbed 14 boards for the Lions
Sacramento State shot 44.6-percent from the floor on 29-of-65 shooting, including 8-of-23 from 3-point range. The Hornets snagged 40 rebounds, committed 23 turnovers and had 22 assists on their 29 made baskets. Strangely, the Hornets have made exactly 29 baskets from the floor in three of their four games this season (at Pacific, vs. Nevada, vs. LMU). They knocked down 33 shots versus Fresno State.
Loyola Marymount shot 32-percent overall on 24-of-75 shooting, with 4-of-17 coming from beyond the arc. The Lions grabbed 52 rebounds, were pressured into 19 turnovers and had 15 assists on 24 made hoops.
The Hornets will hit the road for the first time in 12 days when they play in Eugene, Ore. for the Oregon Invitational. Sacramento State will play Cal State Bakersfield on Friday at 9 a.m., Idaho on Saturday at noon and the host Ducks on Sunday at 2:15 p.m.