SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Fantasia Hilliard nearly tallied a quadruple-double and the Sacramento State women's basketball team defeated Southern Utah, 93-86, in a Big Sky Conference game on Saturday at The Nest.
The Hornets (12-8, 7-4 Big Sky) won for the sixth time in their last eight games and avenged an earlier loss to the Thunderbirds (10-10, 5-5) in Cedar City, Utah. Hilliard was the catalyst, as the sophomore point guard scored a career-high 24 points to go with 10 assists, eight rebounds and eight steals. Despite nearly missing on the elusive quadruple-double, Hilliard finished with her second career double-double.
Sacramento State led by as much as 14 points in the first half before Southern Utah cut the lead to just four at 43-39 with 2:21 left before halftime. But the Hornets responded and led by eight at the break, 48-40. Hilliard had a team-high 16 points in the first half on 5-of-9 shooting while going a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
Southern Utah wasn't finished, however, and opened the second half on a 19-5 run and took a 59-53 lead with 13:52 left on the clock. Down by their biggest margin of the game, the Hornets battled back with their own big run, 17-4 over the next 3:37, to take a 70-63 lead with 10:15 remaining and they never trailed down the stretch.
Southern Utah did cut the lead down to just two points at 88-86 with 1:22 left. But hit a big mid-range jumper with 46 seconds remaining and a blocked shot by Se'nyce Parish on the ensuing Thunderbirds posession put the game away.
Hilliard's near-quadruple-double overshadowed a strong performance by . The senior finished with 11 points, a game-high 13 rebounds and eight assists. Parrish scored 17 points and grabbed six boards in addition to two blocked perimeter shots. , who ranked No. 4 in the nation prior to the game with 3.8 blocks per game, swatted seven shots on Saturday to go with 14 points and five rebounds. She had five on Thursday against Northern Arizona.
Southern Utah's Carli Moreland scored a team-high 17 points to go with 10 boards while Tayler Anderson posted a career-high 16 points.
Sacramento State shot 43.4 percent overall on 33-of-76 shooting, including 9-of-28 from 3-point range. The Hornets snagged 46 rebounds, committed 22 turnovers and tallied 27 assists, their second most in a game this season. They went 18-of-25 at the free throw line.
Southern Utah shot 41.5 percent, 34-of-81 from the floor, with 6-of-21 coming from beyond the arc. The Thunderbirds grabbed 52 rebounds and were pressured into 24 turnovers with 17 assists. They went 12-of-17 at the free throw line.
The Hornets will hit the road next weekd for a pair of conference games. The first stop is a critical match-up at Eastern Washington on Thursday, as the Eagles sit in half-game ahead of the Hornets for third place in the Big Sky. Sacramento State will then visit Portland State on Saturday.
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