Record breaking performance pulls women’s basketball out of slump

Satchi Hover

Sacramento State women’s basketball needed to break out of its recent offensive slump and three game losing streak.

The Hornets (12 4, 4 3) were able to do just that with a record-breaking 110 104 victory over Big Sky Conference powerhouse North Dakota (11 6, 6 2), Thursday in The Nest.

The 110 point outburst marked the Big Sky record for most points scored in a single game. The previous record was set in 1986, when Idaho scored 109 points in a win over Portland State.

Prior to Thursday’s victory, the Hornets had lost three straight games and hit a season-low 65 points on Jan. 18 against Eastern Washington.

Sac State’s head coach Bunky Harkleroad expressed his thoughts on his team’s bounce back victory against a top opponent.

“We’re very proud of our team and we played much harder than we had the past couple of games,” Harkleroad said. “North Dakota is a very good basketball team and fortunately we were able to force them to play fast and momentum swung in our favor.”

The Hornets found themselves trailing 56 49 going into halftime, but were able to regain some momentum with a 14 8 run to open the second.

Junior point guard Fantasia Hilliard, who led the way for Sac State with a team high 22 points and 11 assists, said the win could not have come at a better time.

“I feel like we needed to refocus and it was a really good win for us,” Hilliard said. “We were able to get more opportunities and take shots that we’re used to taking.”

Also scoring in double digits for the Hornets was freshman forward Hallie Gennett with 21, junior forward Shanti Smith had 20 and junior guard Takara Burse tallied 18.

The Fighting Sioux were led by Makailah Dyer, who made her first start of the season with 29 points on 11 18 shooting.

Despite shooting 63.2 percent from the floor, North Dakota committed a costly 29 turnovers.

Sac State will remain home Saturday afternoon to host Northern Colorado (10 7, 4 4) at The Nest with at 2 p.m.

Satchi Hover can be reached on Twitter @SatchiHover