Sac State women’s basketball breaks program record for wins in a season

Hornets stave off Montana State 82-73 in historic night


Dominique Williams

Sacramento State women’s basketball team celebrates after setting a school record in wins Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. In head coach Mark Campbell’s second year as the Sac State head coach the Hornets have a new school-high in wins.

Nathan Cromwell

The Sacramento State women’s basketball team knew they were coming into Thursday night’s game with a shot at history and delivered with an 82-73 victory over Montana State.

They defended The Nest in historic fashion by setting a new program record for wins in a single season with 20.

Senior guard Kahlaijah Dean was unstoppable en route to a career-high 35 points. She also topped 2,000 career points in Thursday night’s win.

“I never really chase accolades, but it’s a big accomplishment to me,” Dean said. “The work that I put in shows on the court and I’m just very proud of that moment.”

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A humble Dean was quickly interrupted by her teammate, junior center Isnelle Natabou. 

“I’m so sorry, she’s awesome,” Natabou said.“She broke the record for scoring in a game and has 2,000 career points. Kahlaijah Dean is absolutely amazing.” 

The Hornets got off to a hot start and kept their foot on the gas the entire first half. They connected on six three-pointers in the first quarter, but the Bobcats were able to keep it close and finished the first period with a 23-20 Sac State lead.

The second quarter is where the Hornets made their move.

Sac State would break the game wide open with a 16-0 run. This allowed them to head into the halftime locker room with a 17-point lead.

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Sophomore guard Katie Peneueta provided a key spark off the bench by hitting six threes and dropping 20 points.

“I know that that’s my role on the team and it’s my job to produce,” Peneueta said. “I have great teammates that are able to get me open looks and my job is to hit them.”

After a dominant first half, the Hornets found themselves in a back-and-forth battle the rest of the way.

In the third quarter, both teams found their groove offensively, but the Bobcats weren’t able to make a dent in the Hornet’s 20-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Bobcats clawed their way back into the game in the fourth quarter and cut the lead down to seven with 30 seconds left.

Dean made free throws in the clutch, which ended up securing her and her team a place in the Sac State history books.

Sac State’s stellar shooting carried them to the finish line, finishing 52% from the field and 54% from three-point land. 

“Just super proud of this group, last year’s team laid the foundation for this year’s team to continue to grow and build on it,” Sac State head coach Mark Campbell said. “For them to come together and accomplish something that’s never been done before in school history is really special.”