Sac State women’s basketball loses last second heartbreaker

Hornet’s allow game-winning layup to Northern Arizona University with 1.3 seconds left


Sara Nevis

Sacramento State’s Summer Menke (11) attempts a layup past University of San Francisco’s Abby Rathbun (55) during the fourth quarter in the game at the Nest at Sac State Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. The Hornets played Northern Arizona University Saturday and Menke had 12 points and nine rebounds but Sac State lost and moved to 1-14,1-11 Big Sky.

Garry Singh

The Sacramento State women’s basketball team led by eight points with three minutes left in the game but let Northern Arizona University get away with the victory after a game-winning layup with 1.3 seconds left, Saturday at the Rolle Activity Center.

The Hornets (1-14, 1-11 Big Sky) were coming off a loss against The Lumberjacks (9-9, 7-7 Big Sky), where they shot 14% from 3-point land. 

The Hornets started the game with a made 3-pointer by junior guard Summer Menke and made a constant effort to get back in transition on defense, which caused a scoring drought of nearly three minutes for the Lumberjacks. The score was tied at 13 at the end of the first quarter after a driving floater by Sac State junior guard Jazzy Carrasco. 

Sac State junior forward Tiana Johnson started off the second quarter with a right-handed hook layup off the backboard. Johnson started the quarter by being aggressive going on to make her next two buckets. 

The Lumberjacks created some separation with a 9-0 run with three minutes left in the second quarter, but the Hornets played scrappy and stayed within striking distance. The Hornets made their last three field goals going into the half, including a jumper from the elbow as the second quarter expired from sophomore guard Jordan Olivares.

Johnson and Olivares led all scorers with 11 points in the first half. Johnson chipped in nine rebounds as well but the Lumberjacks finished the quarter making 10 of their last 12 shots to end the half. 

Story continues below the tweet

At the start of the third quarter, the Hornets went on a 5-0 run with a Johnson 3-pointer and a baseline cutting layup from Menke. The Hornets got consecutive stops and didn’t allow the Lumberjacks to score until the six-minute mark of the third quarter.

For the next few minutes both teams kept it close, with four straight baskets made by the Hornets and three straight baskets made by the Lumberjacks. The Hornets kept chugging offensively with an 8-0 run with two minutes left in the third quarter.

The Lumberjacks fought back to cut the Hornet’s lead to four points heading into the fourth quarter. Carrasco made 3-4 3-pointers scoring nine points and the Hornets shot 60% from the 3-point arc in the third quarter. 

Story continues below the tweet

For the majority of the fourth quarter, the Hornets had the momentum pushing the lead to 71-63 at the 4:19 mark of the fourth quarter. But a 7-0 run by the Lumberjacks cut the lead to one point with 1:49 left in the game as the Hornets struggled turning the ball over three times.

Out of a timeout with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Lumberjacks hit a layup with a foul called on the play, but the Lumberjacks missed the free throw to take the two-point lead, and the score was 74-73 with 20 seconds left.

After a timeout, Menke scored a layup off an offensive rebound to give the Hornets a one-point lead with 1.3 seconds left. 

Needing one defensive stop, the Hornets allowed senior forward Khiarica Rasheed to score a game-winning layup and the Lumberjacks snuck away with the victory.  

The Hornets’ leading scorer was Johnson with 17 points and 13 rebounds. The eye-popping stat line in the matchup was in 3-point shooting: The Hornets were 11 of 25 from the 3-point arc  while the Lumberjacks were just 6 of 25, yet the Hornets still lost due to 24 turnovers. 

Sac State will be back in action against Northern Colorado on Feb. 11 at 12:05 p.m. at the Nest.