HONOLULU – New Mexico State led throughout the game and used a 29-12 scoring edge in the third quarter to open up a big lead en route to a 99-73 win over Sacramento State on Friday in Honolulu.
The game opened the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic, with host Hawaii facing Youngstown State in the second game on Friday. The Hornets will face Youngstown State to conclude tournament play on Sunday.
Sacramento State (1-3) shot a season-low 29.9% on Friday and was 9-of-36 (25%) from 3-point range. New Mexico State (2-1) shot 51.9% for the game and scored 66 points in the paint while also winning the turnover battle with 19 giveaways while forcing the Hornets into 23.
Senior Margaret Huntington was a highlight for Sacramento State as she pulled down 17 rebounds, just one shy of her career high. She had 11 rebounds just in the first half, and her 17 total boards tie for the 12th most in a game in NCAA Div. I this season.
Redshirt senior Emily Easom again led the Hornets in scoring with 16 points, shooting 6-of-10 overall and 2-of-5 from 3-point range. She has scored at least 15 points in all four Hornet games this season. Junior Maranne Johnson put up 15 points and led the team with three 3-pointers made.
New Mexico State led 23-18 after the first quarter and went up 41-29 five minutes into the second quarter. Sacramento State had an 8-0 run to get back within a four-point deficit but the Hornets then went scoreless over the last 3:12 of the quarter and trailed 45-37 at halftime.
The Aggies blew the game open in the third quarter as the Hornets shot just 3-of-22 (13.6%) overall and were 0-of-11 from 3-point range as New Mexico State built a game-high 28-point lead in the final minute of the period. NM State led by at least 22 points through the duration of the fourth quarter.
New Mexico State had six player score in double-figures, with Brooke Salas, Jeneva Toilolo, and Tyesha Taylor all scoring 16 points. Taylor added eight rebounds while point guard Zaire Williams had 12 assists with seven points and six rebounds.
The Hornets had more turnovers than their opponent for the first time this season after doing so just three times last year. Sacramento State had forced at least 30 turnovers through each of its first three games and was +14.3 in turnover margin, and the team was averaging 20.7 steals per game but had just nine on Friday.
Sacramento State will look to bounce back against Youngstown State, another solid opponent that finished 21-13 last season, at 4 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday.