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The State Hornet

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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Sac State suffers a pair of double-digit defeats

The Hornets could not overcome 28 turnovers and a lack of offense this weekend
Courtesy of Nevada Athletics
Freshman forward Summah Hanson goes up for a layup against the Wolfpack in Reno, Nevada Thursday Nov. 10, 2023. Hanson had a total of 22 points and 11 rebounds in the game.

The Sacramento State women’s basketball team lost its last two games to fall to 0-3 on the season. The Hornets’ young roster has struggled to limit their own mistakes leading to three straight double-digit losses.

On Thursday, Sac State traveled to Nevada where the Wolfpack was hungry for turnovers. Three days later, the Hornets returned to The Nest for their home opener in a hard- fought game against Fullerton.

Thursday: Nevada: 69, Sac State: 53

Turnovers got the best of Sac State in their 69-53 loss to Nevada on Thursday. The Hornets committed 28 turnovers, which turned into 34 points for the Wolfpack.

After playing off of the bench in the season opener, redshirt freshman guard Sophia Lee got the start and showed her aggressiveness early on.

Freshman forward Summah Hanson threw a bounce pass to a cutting Lee who drew a foul and made both free throws. On the next possession, Lee went back to the rim and made a tough layup with the shot clock winding down.

“I just take it one possession at a time,” Lee said. “My coach is always big on letting the ball come to me and letting the game come to me so that’s what I was trying to do today.”

The game was tied at nine points a piece until Nevada went on an 8-0 run, which consisted of a close jump shot and a pair of three-point shots to end the quarter. Nevada carried this momentum into the second quarter making back-to-back layups.

A floater from redshirt sophomore guard Benthe Versteeg sparked the Hornets’ offense. On their next possession, Versteeg dished the ball to freshman guard Lina Falk in the corner who nailed the three-pointer. Falk continued to play well off the bench making a layup and blocking a shot on the defensive end.

Sac State had managed to cut a 12-point deficit down to five at halftime despite turning the ball over 15 times.

Nevada started to take advantage of the Hornets’ mistakes in the third quarter. The Wolfpack scored three layups off of turnovers to extend their lead.

“The turnovers are allowing them to get easy scoring opportunities and are allowing them to go on a little bit of a run,” Sac State head coach Aaron Kallhoff said. “We just got to do a better job of being strong with the ball.”

The Wolfpack had a 17-point lead with three minutes left in the third quarter but the Hornets made back-to-back layups to build some momentum for a comeback.

Hanson kept rolling and made a three-pointer on the wing and a deep three-pointer over her defender with two seconds left in the quarter. Hanson finished the game with a total of 22 points and four three-pointers.

“AK’s [Kallhoff] giving me a lot of reason to believe in myself and I think I’ve done the work so I just know I’ve got to trust myself and let it go when it’s the right option to do so,” Hanson said.

Sac State was down by only nine heading into the fourth quarter, in need of stops and timely baskets, but Nevada’s defense was too strong.

Wolfpack freshman guard Dymonique Maxie was hounding the Hornets defensively with two steals early in the quarter that resulted in points for Nevada. Maxie had a total of nine steals in her debut.

The shots weren’t falling as the Hornets went four for 18 from the field in the fourth quarter. This allowed a 15-0 Nevada run which put the game away.

Sunday: Fullerton: 61, Sac State: 51

Sac State battled hard against Fullerton, but lost 61-51 on Sunday. The Hornets could not recover from the Titans’ strong first quarter in their 10-point loss.

The game started out back and forth with both teams displaying tough defense. The Hornets were holding the Titans deep into the shot clock where they made tough jump shots over the defense.

Sac State was able to keep it close, but Fullerton remained aggressive and gained trips to the charity stripe to extend their lead. The Titans went on a 7-0 run to close the quarter with five points coming off of free throws.

After a couple of quick baskets by the Titans, Falk threw a pass to Hanson in the corner who drained the triple. Freshman forward Ayanna Jackson got to the paint for a layup on the next possession.

The Hornets trailed by 13 with two minutes left in the second quarter when Jackson subbed back into the game. Jackson immediately got to work and scored seven straight points for the Hornets before halftime.

“Especially since we had a size advantage on them, one of the things we really stressed before the game was getting to the basket and making free throws,” Jackson said.

Sac State continued to attack the paint in the third quarter and Hanson was a big part of the attack. Hanson finished with a total of 18 points, with eight in the third quarter and 11 rebounds in the game.

“The refs were calling a lot of fouls and our three-point shooting wasn’t where the standard should be so you got to try and get to the rack and draw those fouls to get some easy points on the line,” Hanson said.

The Titans finished the quarter strong with a layup and a pair of free throws to extend their lead to eight points.

Fullerton started out fast in the fourth quarter with two made three-pointers. Sac State needed to make three-pointers of their own but despite good looks the shots weren’t falling.

The Hornets attempted 10 shots beyond the arc in the fourth quarter and made none. In total, Sac State went three for 25 on three-pointers in the game.

“If I felt like we shot 25 of them, that’s kind of a high attempt, I would’ve thought we were probably shooting it pretty well,” Kallhoff said. “We have kids who can shoot the ball and they didn’t hit shots today.”

A late run by Sac State gave the Hornets some life after the deficit was cut to six points with two minutes to play. The Titans silenced the run with a layup and a pair of free throws to win 61-51.

The Hornets will remain at home and get set to face the San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Jahson Nahal
Jahson Nahal, Sports Staffer
(he/him) Jahson Nahal is a graduating journalism major who is in his second semester as a sports staffer for The State Hornet. Previously, he was the sports editor for The American River College Current. He hopes to work in the sports media industry one day.
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