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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 struggles to limit scoring runs in consecutive losses

The Hornets could not withstand two offensive explosions
Sacramento State Athletics
Junior guard Seilala Lautaimi drives to the basket against the Aggies at The Nest Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. Lautaimi had a total of 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Sacramento State women’s basketball team is still in search of its first win after losing its last two games.

The Hornets fell behind in both games after large scoring runs by their opponents, which they weren’t able to battle back from.

On Nov. 18, freshman forward Summah Hanson led the way for the Hornets with her third straight double-double. Three days later, the Aggies were a force in the paint with 30 of their points coming from the inside.

Saturday: San Diego State: 68, Sac State: 45

It was a rainy Saturday, in Sacramento that carried over to the Nest where the Hornets rained threes on the Aztecs in the second quarter. San Diego State was able to weather the storm and run away with the game after a dominant third quarter.

After a first quarter where Sac State was plagued by their season-long turnover woes, they found themselves down by 13 points in the second quarter.

Redshirt sophomore guard Benthe Versteeg was running the offense for the Hornets and got the second-quarter surge started, after she kicked the ball out to sophomore guard Kaylie Edge on the wing for a three-pointer.

Hanson followed this up with a circus shot. As the Hornets bench counted down the looming shot clock, her defender swiped the ball loose but Hanson recovered, spun and hit a long three-pointer as the shot clock buzzer sounded.

“Because I nearly lost it, I was like ‘Oh god, I need to quickly fix this’ and then I saw the shot clock and I was like ‘Well I got to shoot it’ and it went in,” Hanson said.

Hanson continued to shine as a scorer and made a corner three followed by a fastbreak layup on the next possession. Hanson finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Sac State made four three-pointers in the quarter to narrow the deficit to only four points at halftime.

The rain eventually dried up and the Aztecs outscored the Hornets 24-5 in the third quarter. San Diego State’s senior guard duo Abby Prohaska and Sarah Barcello led the way with eight points each.

Free throws were crucial to the Aztecs’ success as they were able to earn 11 trips to the free throw line, making nine of them. On the other side, the Hornets didn’t get one free throw attempt in the quarter.

“If you have high three-point shooting attempts, you probably have a low free throw shooting attempt and we didn’t get to the free throw line in that horrendous third quarter,” Sac State head coach Aaron Kallhoff said.

In addition to the success at the free throw line, San Diego State was dominating on the glass. It was especially apparent on a possession where the Hornets struggled to box out and the Aztecs grabbed three offensive rebounds before scoring a fourth-chance layup.

“A lot of their free throws came actually off of offensive rebounds and second chances,” Kallhoff said. “I just think that we lacked energy and when you lack energy you tend to play undisciplined and you foul.”

Sac State found themselves down by 23 going into the fourth quarter after Prohaska made a pull-up jump shot as time expired.

The Hornets were able to improve their rebounding and interior scoring in the fourth quarter. Junior guard Seilala Lautaimi was a big part of this as she was able to secure offensive rebounds and earn trips to the free throw line on putback attempts.

The adjustments were too late though as the Aztecs continued to score in the paint and win the game 68-45.

RELATED: Sac State suffers a pair of double-digit defeats

Tuesday: UC Davis: 79, Sac State: 57

The Aggies made their trip across the causeway and took care of business on Tuesday after an offensive explosion that they didn’t look back from.

UC Davis redshirt sophomore center Megan Norris used her size advantage to score the first points of the game and followed it up with an and-one layup two possessions later.

In response to this, the Hornets subbed in 6’5” freshman center Paula Haw. Haw immediately made an impact, grabbing an offensive rebound off a missed Sac State free throw, which resulted in a mid-range jump shot by sophomore guard Irune Orio.

On the very next possession, Hanson poked the ball loose and took it down the court for a layup to tie the game at seven points a piece.

Both teams traded baskets until Norris subbed back in with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Norris was a problem for the Hornets as she scored two putback layups off of her own offensive rebounds and a mid-range jump shot as the first-quarter buzzer sounded.

The Aggies ended the quarter on a 9-0 run and it didn’t stop there. UC Davis took advantage of Sac State’s zone defense and found their open three-point shooters.

Three three-pointers were rattled in by the Aggies in the first four minutes of the second quarter and the Hornets had no response. Sac State was held scoreless for the first six minutes of the quarter and the run expanded to 26-0.

“We’ve got to do a better job of demanding stops so we can go get scores,” Kallhoff said. “That’s just a part of growing but you gotta see the growth, we got to eliminate these runs.”

Senior forward Solape Amusan was able to get the Hornets offense going with a pair of three-pointers but Sac State still trailed by 20 at halftime.

Despite the large deficit, Lautaimi was playing with a ton of energy for the Hornets. This was on display all game, as she recorded seven rebounds in total, four of them coming on the offensive glass as a 5’10” guard.

“I’m not promised minutes so every chance I can get on the court I go 100%,” Lautaimi said.

Kallhoff said when the Aggies went on their run, Lautaimi wasn’t in the game and she’s got to build her gas tank so she can play more.

“If I can go back, and you can’t ever go back, I would’ve probably even played her tired just because she can go make some plays,” Kallhoff said. “Her minutes are going to need to go up a little bit because of her efficiency rebounding and being able to score and get to the free throw line.”

Sac State had their best quarter offensively in the third quarter as they scored 17 points on 46% shooting, but the threes kept falling for UC Davis and they had a 22-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

After capitalizing at the free throw line, the Hornets went on an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter, but it was far too late and the Aggies held on to their lead to win 79-57.

The Hornets will face off next against the Santa Clara Broncos on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

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About the Contributor
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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