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Northern Colorado Box Score - Jan. 6
DEFENSIVE EFFORT LEADS WOMENâ€™S HOOPS TO 54-47 BIG SKY VICTORY OVER NORTHERN COLORADO
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State took an early lead and never relinquished it, evening its record in the Big Sky and defeating conference-newcomer Northern Colorado, 54-47, on Saturday afternoon at the Nest.
A pair of local El Camino High School graduates, Atty Boyer and Jourdan Willard, led Sacramento State down the stretch. Boyer scored a team-leading 12 points, while Willard was just shy of a double-double with 10 points, a team-leading nine rebounds and three blocked shots. It was just Willard’s second game in a Hornet uniform. The Sacramento native became eligible to play this week after transferring from the University of Nevada a year ago.
Sacramento State (3-12, 1-1 Big Sky) started the game with a suffocating defense, pressuring the ball at midcourt, and holding the Bears (3-11, 0-2) to just 15 points and five made field goals.
The Bears lack of production was partly due to the defense of Hornet senior Ashley Storms. The Vancouver, Wash., native stifled Northern Colorado swingman Heather Barbour, who entered the game averaging over 14 points and six rebounds. In the first 20 minutes, Barbour was held scoreless and committed four turnovers.
Northern Colorado guard Whitley Cox countered with drives to the basket and mid-range jumpers to get the Bears on the scoreboard. The Las Vegas native had 10 of the Bears’ first half points and finished with a game-high 20, while adding seven rebounds and four assists.
While shutting down Barbour, Storms was also consistent from the floor. In a 4-of-6 shooting performance, the second-year senior added nine points, four rebounds and set a new career high with four assists.
Both teams struggled from the floor. Northern Colorado shot just 27.9 percent, committed 19 turnovers, and is only the second team this year Sacramento State has held under 50 points.
Sacramento State shot just 32.2 percent from the floor and compounded that performance, shooting just 57.1 percent (12-of-21) from the free throw line.
Barbour received scoring opportunities in the second half, scoring seven points and nabbing 11 rebounds.
Senior guard Kim Sheehy scored in double figures for the eighth time this season, with 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Sacramento State stays at home next week, hosting Weber State (8-7, 2-0) at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday. It will be the Hornets final home game for nearly a month as the team hits the road for the following five contests. The team returns to the Nest, Saturday, Feb. 3, hosting Idaho State at 2:05 p.m.
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