CEDAR CITY, Utah – Sacramento State tied its NCAA season-high with 21 made 3-pointers, shooting 46% from 3-point range and 49% overall and, after leading by 17 points in the fourth quarter, withstood a late charge by Southern Utah in a 110-104 win on Saturday.
Hornet junior point guard Justyce Dawson had her first career double-double with 10 points and 13 assists, the second highest single-game assist total in program history. Her 13 assists are the most by a Hornet player in the Div. I era and are just two shy of the overall record of 15 set by Tina Gray during the 1985-86 season.
Sacramento State (10-17, 6-10 Big Sky) now has the two highest 3-point totals in NCAA Div. I this season, having also made 21 threes earlier this year vs. Stanislaus State. The total was four shy of the team's NCAA record of 25, achieved twice last season.
On Saturday the Hornets led by 17 points, 92-75, with 8:50 remaining in the game. Southern Utah (6-21, 1-15 Big Sky) then went on a 15-0 run over the next three minutes, drawing to within a 92-90 deficit with under six minutes to play.
Sacramento State briefly went back ahead by six points but had just a 106-104 advantage going into the final minute. Dawson hit a free throw and the Hornets forced a turnover before senior Emily Easom knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a 109-104 game with 39 seconds remaining. SUU had three 3-point attempts but missed all of them and committed another turnover before Dawson added one more free throw with 11 seconds left to seal the win.
The Hornets shot 21-of-46 (45.7%) from 3-point range and a season-best 37-of-76 (48.7%) overall while scoring a season-high 110 points, tied for eighth highest single game scoring total in program history. Junior Maranne Johnson was 6-of-10 from 3-point range and had a team-high 25 points with four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Senior Ashlyn Crenshaw was 4-of-7 from three and had 22 points and six rebounds while senior Brianna Burgos had her best game of the season, shooting 5-of-9 from the arc with 19 points. Easom finished with 11 points and four rebounds shooting 5-of-5 at the free throw line.
Southern Utah shot well itself at 47% overall and 8-of-21 from 3-point range. The Thunderbirds had a 44-41 rebounding edge with 20 offensive rebounds and forced 22 Hornet turnovers while committing only 17.
Though the T-Birds made it close in the end, the team's only lead of the game was 2-0 on a first-possession layup. The Hornets led by as many as eight points in the first quarter, during which Johnson scored 11 points, but Sacramento State's lead was just 28-25 going to the second.
The Hornets outscored the Thunderbirds 22-18 in the second quarter to take a 50-43 halftime lead, then shot 7-of-12 from 3-point range in the third quarter to lead by 14 going to the fourth. A Johnson three to open the fourth quarter gave the Hornets their first 17-point lead at 90-73 before the Thunderbirds made their charge.
Jamie Smith scored a game-high 30 points to lead Southern Utah, shooting 11-of-18 overall and 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Jessica Richardson had 21 points and nine rebounds and Darri Frandsen had 15 points and 10 boards.
Sacramento State closes the regular season at home next week. The Hornets host league-leading North Dakota at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday and Northern Colorado at 7:05 p.m. Friday.