Sac State women’s basketball team overcomes slow start to win at Eastern Washington

Hornets trailed by 19 in first quarter


Shaun Holkko

Sac State sophomore guard Summer Menke sprints past Southern Utah senior guard Rebecca Cardenas against the Thunderbirds on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Nest. The Hornets won 74-67 at Eastern Washington on Saturday afternoon.

Shaun Holkko

Despite trailing by 19 points in the first quarter, the Sacramento State women’s basketball team was victorious 74-67 at Eastern Washington University on Saturday afternoon.

The Hornets (6-13, 4-6 Big Sky Conference) have now won four of their last six games after beginning the season 2-11. The Eagles (2-16, 1-8) have struggled this season as they are now on an eight-game losing streak following the loss to Sac State.

Eastern Washington dominated early in the game, leading 27-8 with 1:25 left in the first quarter following a 12-0 run. The Hornets went on a 5-0 run to close the first period with a 14 point deficit at 27-13.

Sac State fought back in the second quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers from senior guard Camariah King cut the Hornet deficit to single-digits at 32-24 with 6:45 left in the first half. Sac State outscored Eastern Washington 21-14 in the second period and trailed 41-34 at halftime.

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The Hornets continued to fight in the second half. The Eagles were able to stretch their lead back to 11 four minutes into the quarter until the Hornets went on a 9-0 run with three consecutive 3-pointers. Sac State outscored Eastern Washington 19-14 in the third quarter, yet still trailed by two at 55-53 going into the final period.

Sophomore forward Tiana Johnson nailed a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and give the Hornets their first lead since Johnson opened the game with a made three. The two teams continued to battle and were tied at 60 with 5:19 remaining.

The Eagles went on a 5-0 run over the next 54 seconds to retake the lead, prompting a timeout from Sac State coach Bunky Harkleroad. The break was well-spent as the Hornets went on a 13-0 run out of the timeout to seize control of the game and ultimately win 74-67.

Sac State was able to capitalize on second-chance points, outscoring the Eagles 23-12 as the Hornets grabbed 18 offensive rebounds. Both teams shot the ball relatively poorly Saturday, as the Hornets made 33.8% of their field goals while the Eagles converted 37.3% of their attempts.

RELATED: Nicholas dominates, leading Sac State women’s basketball team to win

King and Johnson led the Hornets to the come-from-behind victory. King kept her team in the game with many long-distance buckets, scoring a team-high 22 points on 7-of-14 from three with seven rebounds and three assists. Johnson followed with 18 points on 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line with three rebounds.

Senior forward Kennedy Nicholas and senior guard Gabi Bade also contributed to the win for Sac State. Both seniors grabbed eight rebounds each, as Bade added 11 points and Nicholas had nine.

Freshman point guard Jenna Dick played the entire game for Eastern Washington, scoring a career-high 28 points on 8-of-14 from three with four assists. Freshman wing Kennedy Dickie scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds followed by sophomore guard Grace Kirscher with 13 points and six rebounds.

The Hornets will attempt to keep playing well in the Big Sky with another road test on Monday night at the University of Idaho. Tip-off at the Kibbie Dome is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.