PORTLAND, Ore. – Trailing 58-45 with two and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter, Sacramento State embarked on a 22-0 run, holding Portland State without a point for more than nine minutes and completing a 77-68 come-from-behind victory on Saturday in Portland.
The Vikings did not score a point from the 2:52 mark of the third quarter until there was just 3:33 left in the fourth. The Hornets forced seven turnovers and limited the Vikings to just six field goal attempts in that nine minute and 19 second stretch.
Sacramento State (8-11, 4-4 Big Sky) picked up its second consecutive road victory and won for the fourth time in the last five games, avenging an 88-86 home loss to the Vikings earlier this season. Portland State (10-10, 4-4 Big Sky) lost a home game for the first time this season as the Vikings had been 5-0 on their home floor.
Junior Maranne Johnson had another sensational game for the Hornets, tallying 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting overall and 6-of-9 from 3-point range. She also had six steals, five rebounds, and two assists while recording her 16th career 20-point game (sixth this season). The Big Sky leader in steals and threes is now just 16 points shy of becoming the 13th 1,000 point scorer in Hornet program history and just the fifth to score 1,000 points in only three seasons.
The Hornets won for the first time this season when trailing at halftime (had been 0-8). They did so behind another impressive defensive performance, holding their second straight opponent below 70 points. Sacramento State improved to 6-0 this season when allowing fewer than 80 points, doing so for the fourth time in its last five games.
Sacramento State was unable to get its offense going early, shooting just 33% in the first half while the Vikings shot 66% and led 41-33 at the intermission. Portland State went up by 13 at the 5:15 mark of the third quarter and led by 13 again before the big Hornet run put the visitors ahead 67-58.
PSU got back within three points at 69-66 with just under two minutes left, but junior Alexia Mefi responded with a jumper and senior Brianna Burgos made a field goal and shot 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final minute to complete the win.
Portland State still shot 50% in the second half but committed 14 turnovers in the second while the Hornets had just five. The Vikings were just 2-of-9 from three in the second half while the Hornets were 5-of-11, finishing the game with 11 made threes.
The Hornets were whistled for just one shooting foul in the entire game, permitting just one free throw while shooting 8-of-10 from the line themselves. Sacramento State outrebounded Portland State 33-26 overall with a 15-11 advantage in the second half. PSU's 53 field goal attempts were the fewest allowed by the Hornets this season, seven less than the previous low.
Burgos had 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists while Mefi had 10 points and four boards off the bench. Senior Ashlyn Crenshaw added nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals as the Hornets shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter and finished at a solid 38% from the arc for the game.
For Portland State Courtney West nearly had a triple-double with 20 points, eight rebounds, and a program-record eight blocks. Ashley Bolston shot 8-of-9 from 19 points and Sidney Rielly totaled 18 points and six assists.
The Hornets are back home next week hosting Eastern Washington at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night and defending Big Sky champion Idaho at 2:05 p.m. next Saturday.