Sac State women’s basketball loses season opener 90-71

Mark Campbell takes first loss in return to PAC-12


Kelley Cox

Sophomore center Isnelle Natabou attempts to stop junior forward Evelien Lutje Schipholt from scoring. Sacramento State lost their home opener to Cal 90-71 at Haas Pavilion.

John Cabales

Sacramento State women’s basketball started its season off with a 90-71 loss against PAC-12 opponent Cal at Haas Pavilion on Wednesday.

The Hornets played hard and were in the game until the fourth quarter where they let the Golden Bears pull away.

The Hornets played well offensively shooting 44.6% from the field as a team but could not get it together on defense, allowing the Bears to shoot 55% and score 52 of their 90 points in the paint.

Both teams struggled offensively the first few minutes of the game until Cal was able to get into a rhythm and go on a 13-2 run putting them up 15-4.

The Hornets were able to close the gap and go into the second quarter only down by four with help from sophomore center Isnelle Natabou who would go 3-4, scoring eight of her 13 points in the first quarter.

The Hornets also did a good job crashing the boards, out rebounding Cal 14-6.

“Cal is strong, physical and big, so it was crucial that we held them to a small amount of rebounds,” said senior guard Summer Menke.

The second quarter went a lot like the first. The Hornets let the Bears go on another run getting down by 13 points thanks to graduate forward Jadyn Bush who would go 4-4 from the field scoring nine of her 13 points in the second quarter. 

Menke would do her best to keep the Hornets in the game going 4-6 and scoring 10 of her 21 in the quarter.

Sac State was sloppy with the ball, turning it over 11 times by halftime.

“We need to clean up some things defensively and do a better job of taking care of the basketball,” said head coach Mark Campbell.

The Hornets would go into the half down 42-34.

Even though the Hornets were not playing at their best, they were still in the game going into the third quarter.

Sac State would play their best defense coming out of the half, limiting Cal to shooting 40% from the field and 33% from three.

Graduate guard Lianna Tillman came alive in the third quarter scoring 12 of her game high 27 points. The quarter ended 61-51.

“I think once I settled in and we settled in as a team, we started to share the ball more and my teammates found me in good spots,” Tillman said.

Menke would be the only other scorer for the Hornets in the quarter with five points.

Tillman stayed hot in the fourth quarter scoring 10 points, but the team would continue to struggle on defense and Cal would take advantage of that having their best quarter of the game.

Cal junior guard Cailyn Crocker scored 14 points in the fourth, and as a team the Golden Bears shot 80% from the field and 50% from three. 

Cal would run away with the game in the fourth scoring 29 points and winning 90-71. 

The Hornets will play again on Sunday at home in the Hornets Nest against the San Jose Spartans at 2 p.m.