Women’s basketball prepares for Idaho state road game

State Hornet Staff

After losing three straight games, Sacramento State women’s basketball will try to keep the momentum alive as they are coming off two consecutive home victories.

The Hornets (13-4, 5-3) begin a 4-game road trip Thursday with a Big Sky Conference matchup against the Idaho State Bengals (6-11, 4-4).

Sac State enters the contest having dropped its last two road games, suffering back-to-back losses at Portland State and Eastern Washington. The Hornets have an overall road mark of 3-3.

During the trip, the Hornets will be without junior guard Andrea Chenier, for the fifth consecutive game after head coach Bunky Harkleroad confirmed that she tore her ACL and will be out indefinitely. This season she has averaged 10 points per game and is shooting 35 percent from 3-point range.

In the wake of Chenier’s absence, Sac State will be led by the duo of senior guard Alle Moreno and junior point guard Fantasia Hilliard.

Hilliard is coming off a historic performance in which she captured the program’s career assist record and Moreno enters the affair as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 14.3 points per game on 36.4 percent shooting.

Sac State ranks first in the nation in made 3-pointers by a wide margin of 220 to second place Missouri’s 195. The first-place perimeter shooting is complemented by a leading record of 14.7 steals per game on average.

The Hornets are also second in the NCAA offensive scoring averaging 90.5 points per game.

Hornets junior guard Takara Burse said the team is ready for whatever the Bengals have in store on gameday.

“We’re going to take the momentum from this week and go with it,” Burse said. “On defense we have to keep our energy up and stay focused on our game plan.”

As for the Bengals, they are fresh off Saturday afternoon’s 74-63 upset on the road over second place Montana State.

Harkleroad said his team will have to focus on keeping the uptempo pace they have inside The Nest during this road matchup.

“We’re obviously going to have to play extremely hard,” Harkleroad said. “Sometimes you can equalize the home court advantage with great effort and controlling all the things you can control.”

Idaho State is led by senior guard Lindsey Reed, who has a season-average of 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

The Bengals have hit the road with a 6-2 mark on their home court, but have gone just 1-7 when playing away.

This will be the 37th meeting between the two teams. Idaho State has controlled the series with a 33-3 record against the Hornets, including two victories last season.

Hilliard talked about how the Hornets’ are going to turn things around against the Bengals.

“I think we have to be the controllers of the game,” Hilliard said. “If we play fast then I think the game will be in our favor.”

The Hornets will look to put their practice in play as the game tips off Thursday at 6 p.m. at Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho.

Satchi Hover can be reached on Twitter @SatchiHover