MISSOULA, Mont. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team won a first round game in the Big Sky Tournament for the second straight season as the Hornets defeated Idaho State, 73-60, on Wednesday night at Montana's Dahlberg Arena.
With the win, the Hornets (19-11) avenged their loss to the Bengals (18-12) in the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament last season and two regular season losses this year.
"Our effort was tremendous tonight playing a team that had our number it seemed like in the regular season," said head coach Jamie Craighead. "A great effort by our seniors to finally get the Bengals."
Sacramento State will meet No. 1 seed and host Montana on Friday at 12:30 p.m. PT in the semifinals.
Senior Kylie Kuhns had her 52nd career double-double and 16th this season with a team-high 13 points and 14 rebounds. Alle Moreno added 12 points while Natasha Torgerson scored 11 and Mallorie Franco had 10. Moreno and Torgerson each hit three 3-pointers and went a combined 8-of-14 from the field.
Against the Bengals, Sacramento State started out 3-for-3 from 3-point range and led 11-4 with just over four minutes into the game.
The Hornets led by as much as 10 points in the first half, at 24-14 with 7:07, but Idaho State went on a 14-4 run to tie it up, 28-28, with 3:15 left before halftime.
Idaho State was 5-of-21 from the field to start the first half, but closed out the period by going 8-of-11 and led 34-33 at halftime after Jessa Jeppesen hit a lay-up with one second remaining.
Kuhns had eight points and five rebounds at the break while Moreno added six points on a pair of 3-pointers. The Bengals were led by Jeppesen and Lindsey Reed's 11 points each.
While Idaho State closed strong, it was the Hornets who came out fast on a 15-6 run to start the second half and led 50-40 with 10:41 remaining in the game.
Sacramento State's defense forced Idaho State to go 4-of-20 from the field with seven turnovers as the Hornets led, 54-43, with 7:16 left in the second half.
Overall, the Hornets outscored the Bengals 40-26 in the second half. Sacramento State went 14-of-19 from the free throw line while Idaho State was just 4-of-7. In the Hornets' current three-game winning streak, opponents have attempted just 16 free throws.
Sacramento State shot 43.1 percent overall on 25-of-58 shooting, including 9-of-18 from 3-point range. The Hornets snagged 35 rebounds, committed 12 turnovers and tallied 14 assists. They went 14-of-19 at the free throw line.
Idaho State shot 36.9 percent from the field on 24-of-65 shooting, with 8-of-26 coming from beyond the arc. The Bengals grabbed 43 rebounds and were pressured into 21 turnovers with 15 assists.