SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team took down the Montana Lady Griz, 79-64, Saturday at the Nest for their first back-to-back wins of the season. The Hornets were led by a career game from Justyce Dawson and other strong performances.
Dawson, a senior point guard, just recently set a new career-high for points scoring, putting up 17 on the road at Eastern Washington. She passed that mark Saturday afternoon, putting up 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting against Montana. She was a perfect 3-for-3 from three and made 1-of-2 free throws.
She also had four assists and four rebounds, all in just 26 minutes of play.
Over her last four games, Dawson is averaging 13 points and 3.5 assists per game. She entered the game with the Big Sky's second best assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.07. She did not commit a turnover Saturday
Tiara Scott had another strong game for the Hornets, scoring 17 points just one game after putting up 21. Scott was 6-for-10 overall, including 3-for-6 from three and 20for-4 at the line. She had a team-high five assists and also added a steal.
Hannah Friend also broke double-digits, putting up 18 points on 7-of-25 shooting. The sophomore guard was just 3-for-11 from three but pulled in a team-high nine rebounds, raising her average to a season-best 7.1 rebounds per game. She finished just one board shy of her fourth double-double of the season.
Also close to her fourth double-double of the year was Kennedy Nicholas, who recorded eight rebounds and scored nine points. Her time was again limited, as she picked up her fourth foul with over half the fourth quarter left to play.
Despite a relatively quiet offensive night (nine points on 3-for-11 shooting), Maranne Johnson picked up three steals, giving her 310 for her career and moving her into first all-time for Sacramento State women's basketball. The senior guard passed Fantasia Hillard (309, 2010-14) for more steals in a career in the history of Hornets women's basketball.
For the second straight game, Sacramento State never trailed, going up 3-0 on a Dawson three in the game's first minute and never looking back. They led by four at half time and by as much as 17 in the third quarter. Montana tied the game once, 21-21 in the second quarter, but never led.
As a team, Sacramento State shot 44.9% (31-69), including 33.3% (9-27) from beyond the arc. Normally strong from the free throw line, the Hornets were just 8-for-13 (61.5%) Saturday against the Grizzlies.
They were outrebounded by Montana, 44-38, but forced more than twice as many turnovers (17) as they committed (7).
Montana shot 37.3% (22-59) from the floor, one of the lowest shooting percentages against Sacramento State this season. Their leading scorer in the game was Caitlin Longergan, who put up 15 on 5-of-10 shooting.
With the win, the Hornets have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. They climb to 5-18 overall and 3-9 in Big Sky Conference play. After spending most of the season in second-to-last in the conference, the Hornets have climbed above Southern Utah and are currently the 10th team in the conference.
Sacramento State is back on the road next weekend as they travel to Idaho State for a Thursday night matchup. Tip off for Thursday, Feb. 15 is scheduled for 6:05 pm and the game can be seen live online at watchbigsky.com and on Pluto.tv, channel 233.