SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State outscored San Francisco in the first, third, and fourth quarters but the Dons had a 24-10 advantage in the second quarter and were able to fend off the Hornets late for a 95-94 win on Saturday in The Nest.
"Against good teams you pay when you make mistakes, and I thought there were a half dozen unforced mental errors we made in the game that cost us," Sacramento State head coach Bunky Harkleroad said. "There are a few plays we would like to have back but they hit a lot of tough shots too, especially in the second quarter.
"I was proud of our energy level and I thought we played hard and competed. We won three quarters by 13 points but lost the second by 14 and that was hard to overcome."
San Francisco (4-2) shot 58% in that second quarter while the Hornets (1-3) shot 24%. The other key stat was turnovers, as both teams had just three in the quarter and each took 19 shots after the Hornets had seven more shots than the Dons in the first quarter and forced eight turnovers.
Down by six points with 14 seconds to play, the Hornets got a layup followed by a steal and another layup to trail just 93-91 with four seconds left. USF junior Claudia Price was fouled and made both free throws to put the Dons up by four. Junior guard Ashlyn Crenshaw hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer but the Hornets came up one point short.
Sacramento State shot a season-best 42% overall, 34% from 3-point range, and 83% from the free throw line. The Dons finished the game shooting 52% from the field and were 6-of-15 from beyond the arc.
The Hornets hit a season-high 16 3-pointers and also shot a season-best 10-of-12 from the free throw line. San Francisco dominated the glass, however, posting a 52-31 overall rebounding edge and pulling in 20 offensive rebounds compared to 16 for the Hornets. USF had a 21-13 edge in second chance points while the Hornets forced 23 turnovers with 16 steals with a 27-15 advantage in points off turnovers.
Sacramento State came out of the gates strong and took a game-high nine-point lead at 24-15 with less than a minute and half remaining in the opening quarter. The tide began to turn there but the Hornets still led 27-22 going to the second.
Over the last 1:25 of the first quarter and the first 4:31 of the second quarter the Dons had a 24-5 run over six minutes to take a 39-29 lead. USF still led by nine at halftime before the Hornets cut their deficit to 66-62 through three.
The Hornets trailed 76-68 two and a half minutes into the final quarter before a 14-3 spurt erased the deficit and put the home team up 82-79. Sacramento State led by four at 85-81 with less than four minutes to play before a 12-2 USF run put them up for good.
Crenshaw scored a career-high 20 points, shooting 8-of-11 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range. She also had a career-high seven steals and three rebounds over 21 minutes played.
Junior Brianna Burgos and freshman Raegen Rohn also hit four 3-pointers apiece finishing with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Juniors Margaret Huntington and Gretchen Harrigan also each had 12 points while senior Adella Randle-El had a team season-high eight assists along with nine points and five rebounds.
San Francisco was able to get by with just eight players seeing significant playing time. Senior Taylor Proctor had 24 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists for the Dons while junior Rachel Howard had a game-high 25 points with eight rebounds and six assists.
Sacramento State takes part in the Cal Classic next weekend in Berkeley. The Hornets will face Villanova next Saturday at 4 p.m. before facing either No. 15 Cal or Saint Mary's next Sunday.