Hornets’ home winning streak ends after loss to ISU

State Hornet Staff

All streaks come to an end. 

After starting the season winning five straight games on its home court, Sacramento State’s women’s basketball team lost to defending Big Sky Champion Idaho State, 62-52, on Thursday.

Hornets’ head coach Jamie Craighead said the team’s downfall was committing fouls that lead to 21 made free throws. 

“It’s going to be tough to win no matter what game it is if you are allowing people to shoot that many free throws,” Craighead said. “We have some veteran players that need to act like veterans and that took us out of our game.”

Coming into the game, Sac State lost two out of the three meetings with the Bengals last season. The most recent was a 13-point loss in the Big Sky semifinals, last March. 

“They knocked us out of play last year so there was some emotional fire (from us) that caused some frustration,” Craighead said. “But, that is a part of sports.”

Sac State took a 8-4 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the first half when senior forward Natasha Torgerson sunk a three-pointer from the top of the key.

The Bengals would respond with a 14-2 run during the next eight minutes and would not relinquish the lead for the remaining of the game.

“We didn’t pressure as much as we should have,” said sophomore point guard Fantasia Hilliard, who finished with nine points and five assists. “I felt like they were able to slow us down and they controlled the game.”

This season, Sac State has forced an average of 21 turnovers per game, but could only take away 15 against the Bengals.

The Hornets cut their deficit to only two points with 3:41 left in the game, but Idaho State’s Ashleigh Vella hit a three-pointer and would finish the game on a 13-5 run.

While the Hornets shot 34 percent from the field, only three points off their average, they missed 10 layups.

“It’s kind of those back breakers where you think they are going in and then it doesn’t,” said senior forward Kylie Kuhns. “We still could have had it in the end and I don’t think it’s something we should hang out heads about.

Kuhns finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Sac State returns to The Nest Saturday when it hosts Weber State. 

The Wildcats have not yet won a game all season, but Craighead said you can’t take any team in the Big Sky for granted.

“They are going to play hard and they are going to play tough,” Craighead said. “They have a lot of young players, but a lot of talented players who just haven’t put it together yet. We just have to make sure it is an up-tempo game.”

Tip off is at 2 p.m.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @rskuhn and for live game updates follow State Hornet Sports @SH_sports