Hornets continue neutral site woes in 78-54 loss

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Christopher Bullock

The Sacramento State women’s basketball team continues to be stuck in a slump, losing its fourth straight game after a 78-54 loss to Villanova at the Four Points by Sheridan Cal Classic in Berkeley on Saturday.

For the Hornets (1-4), the 24-point margin was their biggest loss of the season thus far. In its previous three losses, Sac State lost by a combined 17 points.

Sac State sophomore guard Maranne Johnson had a career high 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting, while fellow guard Brianna Burgos scored 12 points on 3-of-7 attempts from the 3-point range. Unfortunately for Sac State, no other player on the team scored more than seven points.

Villanova (5-2) came into the game touting one of the top defenses in the NCAA Division I, only allowing 55.7 points per game. However, the highlight of the game wasn’t their defense; it was Villanova’s offense that would steal the show.

In the first quarter, Villanova and Sac State played a steady game of back and forth, with Villanova nursing a 21-15 lead at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter, however, would belong to Villanova. The team went on a scoring binge, outscoring Sac State 26-9 in the quarter. Villanova guard Alex Louin made three 3-pointers while scoring 15 of her 17 first-half points in the second quarter. Villanova outshot Sac State from the 3-point line (7-3), taking a 47-24 lead into halftime.

Going into the second half, Sac State needed to pick up the pace on its rebounding. In the first half, Sac Sate had only six offensive rebounds. With Villanova’s smothering defense, however, it became evident that Sac State was going to have some problems.

While Sac State outrebounded Villanova in the second half 5-2, the Hornets couldn’t get their shots to fall. Besides Johnson’s 17 second-half points, the rest of the team went 5-of-22 from the field.

With the loss, Sac State continued its streak of 16 straight regular season neutral site losses. Sac State will play No. 17 Cal in the consolation game Sunday at 1 p.m., while Villanova will play against St. Mary’s for the tournament championship at 3 p.m.