Sac State women’s basketball clinches No. 2 seed with 105-81 over NAU

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento State women’s basketball won 105-81 against Northern Arizona University in its final regular-season game in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets are now officially the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament after their home victory and will face No. 7 Montana State next week.

The Hornets also broke their single-season team record for most points scored by ending today’s contest with a new accolade of 2,514. They shattered the 2013-14 2,494 points mark.

Sac State’s Gretchen Harrrigan scored the first points of the game with 19:31 on the clock in the first half, scoring a 3-pointer, but Northern Arizona was quick to steal the lead scoring two layups in 30 seconds.

In the intense first half of the game the Hornets struggled to keep a lead. NAU played a good offense keeping the lead for majority of the first half, totaling 14 minutes and 15 seconds.

The Hornets took the lead three times in the beginning of the game, only compiling five minutes 11 seconds. Ultimately, the women stayed ahead for the last three minutes 38 seconds as they went into halftime with a score of 48-43.

“At first we started out slow, but we picked it up as the time went,” said guard Andrea Chenier.

In the first half, the Hornets had a field goal percentage of 33.3 percent only making 16 of 48 shots. They had a 23.1 3-point field goal percentage, draining six good 3-pointers.

The Lumberjacks had a stronger field goal percentage, scoring 60.6 percent of their shots, but NAU did not score any 3-pointers in the first half.

Both teams went into halftime with 10 personal fouls.

“I am proud of our team,” said Sac State coach Bunky Harkleroad. “I give Northern Arizona a lot of credit for their start. They came out and really took it to us the first ten minutes of the game, but then we picked it up.”

The second half of the contest, Sac State came back stronger and the squad bettered their field goal percentage. The women had an improved 55.3 field goal percentage and 64.3 3-point field goal percentage.

The Hornets did not let the Lumberjacks take the lead once in the second half. The women with their high energy were able to score 57 points, while holding NAU to 38 points.

Sac State women had 10 personal fouls during the second half and NAU finished the game with nine in the defensive matchup.

Overall, the Hornets had 21 offensive rebounds and 17 assists. Defensively, the women had 12 rebounds, 26 steals and one block.

The victory for the women today was a great way for Sac State women’s basketball to end the season and for the seniors to close their last game on the team.

During the game seniors Chenier, Takara Burse and Fantasia Hilliard scored 40 points.

Chenier played for a total of 18 minutes and scored 11 points. The guard was elated after winning her last home game as a Hornet.

“I just really wanted to win,” Chenier said. “This was my last game ever playing in front of my friends and family. I just really wanted to do the right things and win.”

Burse was in the game for 26 minutes and contributed 10 points. She was proud to see how far the team has come over the last four years.

“It was really emotional seeing how far we have come from my freshman year until now,” Burse said. “It was a bitter sweet moment. You want to go out with a bang, but you also don’t want to leave.”

Point guard Hilliard scored the most points during the game with 19 and she was in the game for 31 minutes. The senior said she was content with her performance.

“I was just really happy and happy for what I accomplished,” Hilliard said. “All four years I just have been really happy.”

Sac State women’s basketball will next play in the Big Sky Tournament Quarterfinals on March 12 in Missoula, Montana.