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JOHNSON SETS CAREER HIGH IN POINTS AND REBOUNDS AS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL DEFEATS SOUTHERN UTAH, 71-62

JOHNSON SETS CAREER HIGH IN POINTS AND REBOUNDS AS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL DEFEATS SOUTHERN UTAH, 71-62

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Sacramento State broke open a tie game with a 16-2 run in the third quarter and never looked back en route to a 71-62 win at Southern Utah on Thursday. Tiana Johnson led all players with a career-high 26 points.

With the win, Sacramento State improves to 8-15 overall and 6-8 in the Big Sky. Southern Utah falls to 12-10 and 6-7 in league.

Sacramento State handed Southern Utah just its second home loss of the season. The Thunderbirds had been 8-1 when playing in the America First Event Center coming into Thursday.

Thursday night's win was Sacramento State's 11th straight victory over Southern Utah, a streak that stretches back to the 2014 season. The Hornets are 5-0 on the road during that streak, 5-0 at home, and 1-0 on neutral courts.

For the Hornets, the win Thursday night was highlighted by Tiana Johnson's career-best 26-point,14-rebound performance. Both were career-highs for the redshirt sophomore, who finished 12-for-20 from the floor (2-6 3PT) while also adding an assist and two blocks.

16 of Johnson's 26 points came in the second half and the double-double was the second of her career.

Summer Menke returned to action Thursday night after missing two games with an ankle injury and scored 16 points while shooting 50% (5-10) overall. Menke made four free throws late in the second half to keep the game tied and finished 4-for-7 from the stripe overall.

Camariah King also finished in double-figures, scoring 11 points while adding four assists. Gabi Bade matched King for the team lead with four assists of her own.

The Hornets and Thunderbirds went back in forth in the first half, with neither team going ahead by more than six, before taking a 33-33 tie into the break.

All of that changed with the start of the third quarter, however, as Sacramento State opened with a 16-2 run over four minutes of game time to take a commanding 49-35 lead.

Southern Utah made a late push, cutting the Hornets' lead down to just six, but Sacramento State fended off the fourth-quarter surge before defeating the Thunderbirds, 71-62.

Overall, Sacramento State shot 45.9% compared to Southern Utah's 32.8%. The Hornets had more assists than the T-Birds, 15-9, improving to 5-0 this season when out-assisting their opponents.

Sacramento State will look to go back-to-back when they travel to Northern Colorado on Saturday for a 1 p.m. PT tip off.

Saturday's game will stream live online on Pluto.TV and live stats can be found at HornetStats.com. All details – including specific links – can be found by visiting the Sacramento State women's basketball homepage online at HornetSports.com.