Sac State women’s basketball picks up come-from-behind win over Santa Barbara

Hornets move to 2-1 in 70-68 overtime win


Dominique Williams

Senior guard Kahlaijah Dean comes off a screen set by freshman guard Madison Butcher against the Gaucho defense at The Nest Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 in a 70-68 overtime win. Dean currently averages 22.7 points and 6.7 assists a game.

Dylan McNeill and Gavin Hudson

A pair of threes from senior guard Kahlaijah Dean to beat the first-half buzzers was just the beginning for the Hornets Saturday night. 

Down three with less than five seconds in the game, Hornets sophomore forward Katie Peneueta drilled a moving three to get the team into overtime. 

In overtime, Dean gave the Hornets the eventual game-winner as she slithered past the Gaucho defense. 

“I’m so proud of this team,” Hornets head coach Mark Campbell said. “It’s game three of 30 and so we’re still finding our identity and finding our leaders.”

The Hornets outlasted the Santa Barbara Gauchos 70-68.


Sac State was slow out the gate in the second quarter; the Gauchos stretched their lead out to 11 just two minutes into the quarter. 

Sac State went on a 22-9 run to end the first half, punctuated by Dean’s second buzzer-beating three of the half, which sent The Nest into a frenzy.

Dean’s shot sent the Hornets to the locker room with a 33-31 lead.

Freshman guard Madison Butcher’s off-ball tenacity was bothering the Santa Barbara offense on a number of possessions. Butcher also hit a couple jump shots for Sac State in the first half.

The Gauchos were aggressive in the post on both sides of the ball and made a concentrated effort to keep lanes open for back-downs and layups.

Santa Barbara outrebounded Sac State 20-12 in the first half.


Second Half

It was another slow start for the Hornets in the second half, with Santa Barbara hopping on an immediate 8-3 run weathered by senior forward Kaylin Randhawa to open the third quarter.

After just three points in the first half, Randhawa finished with 17 points, going 5-11 from three point range.


Story continues below photos.


Randhawa escaped her early season shooting slump with her performance Saturday.

“I had a wide-open three and I didn’t shoot it,” Randhawa said after reviewing game film. “Coach said, ‘Is everyone ok with Kaylin shooting that?’ and they were like ‘yeah shoot the ball.’

The Hornets went into the final quarter down six with work to do to give Santa Barbara their first loss of the season.

With under four minutes in regulation, Dean scored two straight buckets to even the game 57-57.

In the final two minutes, the Gauchos muscled a two-point lead.

The Hornets fouled to keep time on the clock and Guachos junior guard Anya Choice split her two free throws, leaving it a three point game. 

With only 4.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Randhawa inbounded to Peneueta, who knocked down a three pointer from the left side — sending the game to overtime with two seconds left in the fourth quarter.



Freshman guard Benthe Versteeg opened a very competitive overtime period with a banked three-pointer.

With just 16 seconds left, the match found itself tied again until Randhawa gave the Hornets a two-point lead.


Seven seconds later, Santa Barbara’s Choice scored a layup of her own to tie it yet again.

The final twist was Dean doing what she does — creating space and getting buckets, cutting through the Gaucho defense to take the lead with just over a second remaining.

Dean finished with 27 points, five assists on 11-20 shooting and 4-7 from three.

“Me and Mark watch film every day just to see how to work on different things when it comes to defense and offense,” Dean said. 

Santa Barbara had no remaining timeouts and were left to improvise. Versteeg got her third steal of the game to ice the game for the Hornets. 

“B led us defensively big time.” Campbell said of Versteeg.  “With her energy, we picked up the pressure; we were finally able to get some stops and get our offense going.” 

Versteeg had three steals by the end of the game and acted as a defensive anchor for the team.

The duo of Dean and Randhawa have been competing with each other even before becoming teammates at Sac State.

“That’s my other half,” Randhawa said of Dean. “It’s really fun. We played against each other in AAU ball. We’re both the same on the court; we never want to lose.”

The Hornets are back in action at 5:00 p.m on Tuesday against UC Davis at Golden 1 Center for the Causeway Classic.