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Inside Sac State women’s basketball’s journey to NCAA tournament
March 15, 2023
Sacramento State women’s basketball is two years removed from winning just three games; this season they have set a new school record for wins and earned their first appearance in the NCAA tournament.
After a three-game losing streak to end January and start February, Sac State turned it around winning their last six regular season games in tune with the program’s first share of the Big Sky Championship.
The Hornets would not be here without Big Sky Newcomer of the Year and MVP senior guard Kahlaijah Dean who added a crucial offensive boost. Junior center Isnelle Natabou continued her dominance from last season, bolstering the interior for Sac State.
Key contributors like sophomore guard Katie Peneueta and senior guard Jordan Oliveras came alive down the stretch, propelling the Hornets' win streak to nine and claiming the school’s first Big Sky Tournament championship.
Now, the #13 seeded Hornets are headed 384 miles south to Pauley Pavilion to take on the #4 seeded UCLA Bruins in their first NCAA tournament game.
Their win over Santa Clara started Sac State's march to the most wins in school history. It was a 73-63 win over Santa Clara where Isnelle Natabou and Kahlaijah Dean combined for 50 points. Sac State overcame turnover issues that plagued them in the season opener which helped them secure the win. Check out the game recap article.
Most wins in a season
Sac State totaled a school record for wins in a season beating Montana State 82-73, Kahlaijah Dean had a season-high with 35 points, while Katie Peneueta added 20 points. The Hornets shot over from 50% from the field and from three in the historic win. Check out the game recap article.
Big Sky champs
The Hornets punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament after beating Northern Arizona University 76-63 to clinch their spot in the March Madness tournament. After the win Kahlaijah Dean was named tournament MVP along with regular season Big Sky MVP. Check out our game recap from the Big Sky Tournament.