WOMEN’S BASKETBALL UNABLE TO CONVERT SWEEP, LOSE AT IDAHO

Athletics News

MOSCOW, Idaho. – The Sacramento State women’s basketball team took the court Saturday afternoon with a chance to sweep the Idaho Vandals but came up empty, falling on the road, 101-66.

Four different Hornets scored in double digits Saturday afternoon, including Maranne Johnson, who scored a team-high 15 points in just 23 minutes of play. The senior guard was 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. She pulled in three rebounds but for the second straight game did not grab a steal.

Johnson is second all-time among the Sacramento State women’s basketball program with 302 career steals, just six back of program leader Fantasia Hillard (2011-15).

Just one game after scoring a career-high 17 points, senior Justyce Dawson followed that up with a 14-point performance. She also dished out three assists while pulling in five rebounds.

Tiara Scott and Kennedy Nicholas also cracked double-digits, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. For Scott, it was her sixth game with 10 or more points but just first since scoring 17 against Weber State on Jan. 18 at home. In addition to scoring 10 points, Nicholas also pulled in six rebounds, tied for the team-lead. Over her last three games, Nicholas is averaging nine rebounds per game. For the season, she is averaging 6.5 rebounds per game, second most on the season.

Despite the rounded team effort, the Hornets offense never really found its groove Saturday at Idaho. The Vandals scored first as Taylor Pierce drained a three 38 second into the game for a 3-0 lead. It was a lead they would never give back to the Hornets.

The 3-0 deficit grew into a 10-point deficit by the end of the first quarter and Sacramento State continued to fall further behind from there. At half, the Hornets were looking at a 23-point deficit as Idaho led 50-27.

Although the Hornets looked better in the third quarter, scoring 21 points while shooting 43.8%, Idaho continued to be better, extending the lead to 79-48. The fourth quarter was more of the same as Idaho broke triple digits.

Saturday was the fourth time Sacramento State has allowed double-digit points, although it was the first time in conference. It was the first triple-digit point performance against Sacramento State in Big Sky play since Northern Colorado scored 102 against the Hornets late last season.

As a team, the Hornets shot just 35.7% (25-70), though they did go 12-38 (31.6%) from three. They struggled at the free throw line, making just four of their 12 attempts.

Idaho shot 47.6% (39-82) overall against Sacramento State. For the season, opponents are now shooting a Big Sky-highest 46.8% against the Hornets. They allow opponents to score 83.3 points per game, also a conference-high.

Two-time Big Sky Player of the Week, Mikayla Ferenz, led the Vandals with 23 points in just 27 minutes of play. Right behind her was Taylor Pierce, who scored 19 and went 6-for-11 from beyond the arc.

Sacramento State falls to 3-18 overall and 1-9 in Big Sky Conference play with the loss on the road at Idaho. They will return home to host Montana State on Thursday, Feb. Tip off is scheduled for 7:05 pm PT.

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