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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 women’s basketball falls in Big Sky Tournament second round

The Hornets have a lot to look forward to next season
Big Sky Conference
Freshman guard Lina Falk shoots a three-pointer against Northern Arizona Sunday March 10, 2024. Falk had 22 points over Sac State’s two Big Sky Tournament games.

The Sacramento State women’s basketball season concluded in the second round of the Big Sky Tournament after a dominant second half from Northern Arizona sophomore forward Sophie Glancey.

The Hornets entered the tournament as the youngest team in Division I and were able to beat Idaho State in the first round.

Sac State will have key pieces to build around next season with players like Freshman of the Year forward Summah Hanson and all-conference selection, redshirt sophomore guard Benthe Versteeg.

After finishing his first year, head coach Aaron Kallhoff thanked Hanson and Versteeg for the work they put in this season.

“When you’re building, you want to have high character hard workers and I couldn’t find any better than these two,” Kallhoff said about Hanson and Versteeg.

The Lumberjacks had some unfinished business to settle as the Hornets upset Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Arizona on Feb. 15.

Hanson’s defense against Glancey was a crucial part of their victory as she held Glancey to just nine points in that meeting.

RELATED: Sac State chops down Lumberjacks’ eight-game win streak

Two of the Big Sky’s best forwards were matched up for a third time this season, each trying to limit the other’s scoring and rebounding while battling for positioning in the paint.

“Every time I match up with her, she’s always a challenge,” Glancey said about Hanson. “She’s going to be so good for them.”

Freshman forward Summah Hanson defends a shot attempt from sophomore forward Sophie Glancey Thursday Feb. 15, 2024. Hanson and Glancey are two of the best forwards in the conference.  (Rhianna Kahley / NAU Athletics)

Hanson got the better of the matchup in the first half with six points and 10 rebounds, while Glancey was held to six points and four rebounds.

Northern Arizona’s guard play stepped up during Glancey’s early struggles. Junior guard Leia Beattie and sophomore guard Taylor Feldman scored 14 of the Lumberjacks’ 28 first-half points.

The Lumberjacks were pushing the pace on a Hornets team that played 24 hours prior but Sac State kept up and trailed by only two points at the end of the first quarter.

Hanson was in attack mode to start the second quarter, getting by Glancey for a layup and then scoring a turnaround jump shot over her on the next possession.

Sac State’s defense held the Big Sky’s top-ranked offense to 3/15 shooting and forced four turnovers in the second quarter.

One of which was a steal forced by Versteeg who ran the fastbreak with the always energetic Kallhoff running down the sideline like he was on the court.

Both teams would go on a three-minute scoring drought from that point on. Northern Arizona twin sister junior guards, Nyah and Olivia Moran put the pressure defensively on Versteeg all game.

“I think the Moran sisters need to be given a lot of credit on how hard they play,” Kallhoff said. “They’re so physical and they play so hard.”

Versteeg got a layup to fall, ending the drought in the final moments of the second quarter to give the Hornets a 29-28 lead at halftime.

After a six-point first half, Glancey showed why she was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection and scored 18 straight points for Northern Arizona in the third quarter.

The Lumberjacks were feeding Glancey in the post and she couldn’t be stopped.

“She’s really tough to guard,” Hanson said. “A lot of the stuff that she touched goes to gold and it goes in.”

Sac State scored 17 points in the third quarter but their inability to limit Glancey had them down 54-46 going into the fourth quarter.

The Hornets needed stops but Northern Arizona went on a 8-0 run in the first minute of the fourth quarter led by five points from Olivia Moran.

Versteeg was able to cut the deficit down to 11 with four minutes remaining but when the Lumberjacks needed a timely basket, they got it to their star.

Glancey converted an and-one that halted any chance of a Sac State comeback. The Idaho native finished the game with a career-high tying 30 points.

Northern Arizona won the game 81-63 and advanced to the semifinals of the Big Sky tournament.

“I learned a lot from this season,” Versteeg said. “I got the chance to be a leader and have a great impact on this team.”

Kallhoff said he’s looking forward to bringing in high character and hungry winners this offseason.

Sac State will continue to put the pieces together and will only get better from here.

“Six wins in our first year, some people will look back at it and be like you guys underachieved,” Kallhoff said. “That’s not even close, we’re building.”

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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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