Women’s basketball blows out Portland State 92-60

Eleanor Mafi

Sacramento State women’s basketball traveled to Portland State for a matchup against the Vikings on Saturday. The Hornets were able to get back on the winning side after pulling out a huge 92-60 victory and snapped their two-game losing streak.

The Hornets displayed a strong effort, defeating the home team at Peter W. Stott Center, while nabbing the conference record for steals in a game with 30.

Sac State is now 8-3 with this conference win, but the team is still tied for second place in the Big Sky Conference with the University of North Dakota, who beat Northern Arizona University on Saturday.

In the first half, the Hornets held a large lead over the Vikings at 42-29, and the women managed to put on an offensive clinic in the second half as they scored 50 points.

Despite the explosion on offense, Sac State women’s basketball coach Bunky Harkleroad felt the team needed to tighten up on defense in the first half.

“We were a little bit careless with the basketball,” Harkleroard said via phone call. “In the first half we didn’t do a good job on capitalizing on our turnovers. We just [needed] reemphasis in doing the right thing, making good choices and trying to reward ourselves with hard work by getting a steal on defense, [so they could] score layups.”

Sophomore Gretchen Harrigan led the game with 18 points. She recorded seven rebounds and five steals. The Vikings scored first and retained a 4-0 lead before Harrigan scored the first points for the Hornets.

Three other Hornets had double figures during Saturday’s game, with senior Fantasia Hilliard collecting 15 points, senior Takara Burse with 14 points and four assists, and freshman Maranne Johnson ending with 11 points and six rebounds.

Sophomore Margaret Huntington scored six points and led the team with nine rebounds.

With a couple of players out for the Vikings because of injuries, the Hornets took advantage and recorded 30 steals, 15 assists, 10 3-pointers and were 14 of 18 in free throws.

“We need to do a better job at finishing layups, scoring around the rims and playing defense without passing,” Harkleroad said.

Sac State will have two home games next week. The women will face Eastern Washington University on at 7 p.m. Thursday and the University of Idaho at 2 p.m. on Feb. 14 in the Hornets Nest.