Sac State women’s basketball team demolished at Montana State

Without Nicholas and Bade, Hornets lose to Bobcats 113-69


Chris Farrer - The Exponent

Sac State sophomore guard Tiana Johnson shoots the ball against Montana State on Thursday, Feb. 27 at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. The Hornets were defeated 113-69 by the Bobcats.

Shaun Holkko

The Sacramento State women’s basketball team attempted to shock the Big Sky Conference with a road win at first-place Montana State on Thursday night to no avail.

The Hornets (8-19, 6-12 Big Sky) were outscored by 40 points in the second and third quarters combined by the Bobcats (20-6, 16-1), leading to a 113-69 blowout loss.

Sac State was once again limited by injuries, as senior guard Gabi Bade and senior forward Kennedy Nicholas did not travel with the team to Montana. Bade is currently rehabbing a right-heel injury while Nicholas is recovering from a right-ankle sprain. Both seniors are expected to be ready for Senior Day on March 6 against Portland State.

Sophomore forward and Montana native, Tiana Johnson, opened the scoring with a jump shot 17 seconds into the game to give the Hornets a 2-0 lead. The Bobcats responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead and never looked back.

RELATED: ‘I never thought she could be an athlete’: The story of senior guard Gabi Bade

Sac State cut the lead to 14-13 with four minutes remaining in the quarter. Montana State then closed the period on an 11-4 run to lead the Hornets 25-17 after a competitive first quarter.

The second quarter was anything but competitive. The Bobcats opened the period on an 18-0 run, giving Montana State a 43-17 lead. Sac State was outscored 33-14 in the second quarter. The Hornets dug a huge hole for themselves going into halftime trailing 58-31.

The Hornets’ abysmal play continued into the second half. The Bobcats topped their second quarter scoring outburst with a 38-point third period, outscoring Sac State by 21. Montana State doubled up the Hornets after three periods, leading 96-48.

Both teams emptied their benches for the final period which was all but a formality. With the reserves in the game, Sac State won the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bobcats 21-17. The Hornets ultimately suffered their worst loss of the season, 113-69.

Sac State had only allowed more points in a game once this season, in a 114-107 double overtime loss at Northern Arizona University. The Bobcats’ hit a game-high number of points with 113. 

Montana State put on a shooting clinic against the Hornets. The Bobcats made 60.3% (41-of-68) of their field goals and 50% (11-of-22) from 3-point territory. Montana State also shared the ball more frequently, with 29 assists to the Hornets’ eight. Finally, the Bobcats grabbed 10 more rebounds than Sac State.

RELATED: Single-quarter woes lead to Sac State women’s basketball team’s downfall, again

The Hornets were led in scoring by sophomore guard Summer Menke who had 17 points on 6-of-13 from the field with four rebounds and three steals. Johnson contributed 16 points on 6 of 10 attempts with nine rebounds before fouling out.

Seven players scored in double-figures for Montana State, including all five starters. Senior guard Oliana Squires led the charge for the Bobcats with a game-high 19 points on 6-of-8 from three with seven assists and four rebounds. Freshman guard Darian White added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Sac State plays at the University of Montana in the final road game of the season Saturday. Tipoff at Dahlberg Arena is set for 1:05 p.m.