SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State overcame a late six-point deficit to defeat the visiting Cal Poly Mustangs, 88-85, in the Nest on Sunday in their season opener. The Hornets got contributions from the entire roster, using 14 different players in the win.
The win gives Sacramento State an early 1-0 record for the 2018-19 season while the Mustangs fall to 1-2.
Trailing 70-64 late in the third quarter, Sacramento State put together a 12-point run to take a lead they would not relinquish Sunday afternoon. All five baskets during the run were scored by different players, which was representative of the entire game for Sacramento State.
The Hornets used 14 different players in the winning effort, four more than their most used in a game last season. Of those 14, 11 different players scored while 10 logged double-digit minutes. Nine of the 14 recorded at least one steal while eight added at least one assist.
"We were fortunate enough to get some contributions from everybody," said women's basketball head coach Harkleroad. "I think that depth definitely played a part in tonight's game."
Tiara Scott echoed that sentiment when discussing the depth of the team: "It's quick five in, five out, and later on you saw that Cal Poly was getting tired and we just had more bodies. We're able to keep pushing it and pushing it and eventually we wore them down."
Hannah Friend led the team in scoring, putting up 25 points on 9-of-23 shooting, including 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Tiara Scott, the team's only other player to reach double digits, scored 12 points while also adding a team-high five steals and five assists. Fellow junior Kennedy Nicholas paced the team in rebounds, pulling in 13, including six offensive boards.
As a team, the Hornets shot 35.2% from the floor (32-91), including a tough 21.3% (10-47) from beyond the arc and just 63.6% (14-22) from the free throw line. Cal Poly shot better in every category, including 44.0% (33-75) overall, 33.3% (6-18) from three, and 65.0% (13-20) from the line.
However, on a night where the team didn't have its best shooting performance, they overcame with solid defense, especially late in the game. Sacramento State racked up 20 total steals and forced the Mustangs into 34 total turnovers, including three crucial 10-second violations late in the game.
Sacramento State outscored Cal Poly 32-18 in points off of turnovers in the win.
The win moves the Hornets to 1-0 to start the 2018-19 season. They'll look to build on that start in less than a week when they host the defending Big 10 champion Ohio State Buckeyes in the Nest on Friday, Nov. 16 at 8:35 p.m.
Friday night's game is part of a doubleheader with the Sacramento State men's team, who will host the Cal Poly men's team at 6:05 p.m. More details, including information on tickets and scheduling, can be found online at HornetSports.com.