WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WINS WILD BIG SKY OPENER OVER NAU IN DOUBLE OVERTIME
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Alle Moreno hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in regulation but the Hornets needed more than just one overtime to defeat Northern Arizona, 91-85, on Thursday night at The Nest in their Big Sky Conference opener.
Alle Moreno hit the game-tying jumper with 25 seconds left and the Hornets won in overtime.
The Hornets (6-8, 1-0 Big Sky) were down 20-3 with 11:22 left in the first half but slowly battled back. Sacramento State connected on all nine of its free throw attempts in the final seven minutes but it was Moreno, once again, who hit the big shot.
The sophomore - who also hit the game-winning 3-pointer against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 26 and scored eight points in the final three minutes to knock off Long Beach State on Nov. 19 - took a pass from Fantasia Hilliard on the left wing and buried a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to tie the game up at 60-60. Northern Arizona's Amy Patton missed a potential game-winning jumper in the lane and the contest went to overtime.
In the first overtime the Hornets jumped out to a six point lead with 1:18 remaining but this time it was the Lumberjacks' turn to rally. Tyler Stephens-Jenkins knocked down a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the first overtime period to tie the game at 76-76 and Hilliard's off-balance runner in the lane missed as time expired.
It was back-and-forth in the second overtime until Sadie Clements broke another tie with a 3-pointer with 1:41 to play and this time, the Hornets held on down the stretch. Hilliard hit three free throws and Moreno hit a pair to ice the six point victory.
Kylie Kuhns grew her NCAA-best double-double mark with another big effort. The junior from Salem, Ore., tallied a season-high 20 points and 15 rebounds for her 13th double-double in 14 games. Emily Christensen had her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 boards while Moreno finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Hilliard ended the game with 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists - just short of a triple-double.
Northern Arizona's Amy Patton had a team-high 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Overall it was sloppy game as the two teams combined for 53 turnovers, 49 fouls and 120 missed shots. NAU and Sacramento State each had 64 rebounds, 20 assists and eight blocks.
Sacramento State shot a season-low 26.3 percent overall on 27-of-85 shooting, including 9-of-33 from 3-point range. The Hornets snagged 64 rebounds, committed a 25 turnovers and had 20 assists. They went 28-of-35 at the free throw line.
Northern Arizona shot 35.1 percent from the field on 33-of-94 shooting, with 6-of-27 coming from beyond the arc. The Lumberjacks grabbed 64 rebounds, were pressured into 28 turnovers and had 20 assists. They went 13-of-24 at the free throw line.
Up next for the Hornets is a home game against Weber State at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday. The Hornets won their conference opener this year after winning just one Big Sky Conference game last season - in the season finale over Weber State.