SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After scoring 65 or fewer points in four straight contests the Sacramento State offense awoke on Thursday as the Hornets knocked down 12 threes and shot 41% overall in a 99-69 home victory over Montana.
Sacramento State (9-15, 5-8 Big Sky) recorded its largest margin of victory in program history against Montana (5-20, 2-12 Big Sky). Paired with a 73-60 win in Missoula in January the Hornets completed a season sweep of the Lady Griz for the first time in program history.
"It feels good to win but more importantly, at this time of the year, we just want to be playing better," Sacramento State head coach Bunky Harkleroad said. "I'm proud of our team; I thought our energy level was much better than it has been lately and we knocked some shots down and went to the offensive glass much harder than we have been. It was good to see our team show that energy and do those things that we were lacking."
Senior Margaret Huntington posted the most impressive stat line of her Hornet career, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 3-of-3 at the line with 15 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and three steals in 24 minutes. Junior Maranne Johnson hit five 3-pointers and had 21 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Huntington and Johnson are the first Hornet teammates to record double-doubles in the same game this season.
Senior Emily Easom made four 3-pointers and had 18 points while senior Gretchen Harrigan had 15 points and three steals. The Hornets shot 41% while the Griz finished at 39%, just the third time this year Sacramento State had a higher field goal percentage than its opponent. The Hornets forced 25 turnovers with 18 steals and had a season-high six blocks while outrebounding Montana 59-45 with a season-high 26 offensive rebounds.
Sacramento State led for nearly the entire game, opening the contest on a 14-4 run to take a 10-point lead less than four minutes into the game. The home team led 23-19 at the end of the first quarter but Montana got within a point at 29-28 two and a half minutes into the second. The Hornets then went on a 19-5 run to open up a 48-33 lead with three minutes left in the half.
The Hornets led 52-39 at the half, scoring 52 points in the first half after scoring 58 total points in their last home game against Idaho. Sacramento State outscored Montana 23-13 in the third quarter to take a 75-52 lead and used a 17-1 run in the fourth to take a game-high 32-point lead at 99-67 in the final minute.
The 12 made 3-pointers were the most for the Hornets since hitting 15 vs. Portland State on Jan. 7, and the team surpassed 90 points for the first time in Big Sky play. Junior Justyce Dawson had a career-high 10 assists as the Hornets outscored the Griz 15-2 in fast break points and a combined 51-31 in points off turnovers and second chance points.
Sacramento State looks for another win on Saturday hosting Montana State at 2:05 p.m. in The Nest. The Bobcats entered play on Thursday night on a seven-game wining streak and tied for the Big Sky lead but took a 69-65 loss at Portland State to drop to 18-6 overall and 11-3 in conference.