CORVALLIS, Ore. – Looking to upset Oregon State for the second consecutive year on its home floor, Sacramento State stayed close to the Beavers into the late stages of the game but couldn't come away with the win as OSU recorded a 102-80 victory.
"Oregon State was good at making us make mistakes because of their physical presence," Sacramento State head coach Bunky Harkleroad said. "I don't think we played with a lot of confidence but you can give them credit for that. We didn't quit and we got the game within a possession or two under 10 minutes and we hung around, but we just didn't play very well."
The Beavers (3-0) shot a blistering 53.6% from the field for the game, with 66 of their points coming on close finishes in the paint. The home team also had a 58-40 edge in rebounding as they used their size to their advantage on both ends of the floor. Sacramento State (2-1) shot just 32.5% for the game and 30.8% from 3-point range, making 12 threes but doing so in 39 attempts.
Juniors Takara Burse and Shanti Smith each had a career-high 15 points to lead the Hornets while senior Sadie Clements had 10 points. Clements, Smith, and redshirt freshman Margaret Huntington each made three 3-pointers and junior point guard Fantasia Hilliard had a game-high seven assists to go with nine points.
The only lead of the game for the Hornets came with 13:56 left in the first half as a layup by freshman Gigi Hascheff gave the visitors a 16-14 advantage. A 6-0 run gave the Beavers a lead they would not relinquish as the cushion reached double-figures at 29-19 at the midway point of the first half. Six-foot-six center Ruth Hamblin scored 14 of her game-high 18 points in the first half and helped give the Beavers a 57-41 halftime lead.
Oregon State's lead reached 72-50 at the 14:15 mark of the first half, but consecutive 3-point makes by Huntington and Clements sparked what would be a 19-5 run by the Hornets, as a three-point play by freshman Hallie Gennett got Sacramento State within eight points at 77-69 with 9:49 to play.
The Hornets had a chance to cut into their deficit further but missed consecutive three-point tries as the Beavers built back to a double-digit lead. Sacramento State was still within striking distance down 12 points with 3:58 to play but OSU outscored the Hornets 13-3 to end the game and post a 22-point win.
"We have to do a better job executing on the offensive end and keeping the focus where it needs to be," Harkleroad said. "We also need to toughen up in several ways defensively, and when I say that there were a lot of mental mistakes we made."
Hamblin shot 8-of-14 and had 10 rebounds and three blocks to go with her 10 points. OSU forwards Kolbie Orem (16 points) and Deven Hunter (15 points) added to the Beaver total from close range while 10 different Oregon State players scored at least five points in the game.
The game was played in front of an announced crowd of 4,139 fans, the largest crowd to ever see a non-conference Oregon State home game. The vast majority of the attendees were elementary school students who took part in the Beavers' Field Trip Day.
Sacramento State will make the short drive to Eugene to face Oregon at 2 p.m. Sunday in what could be one of the highest scoring games in the NCAA this season, as the Ducks are averaging 122.0 points per game through two contests. Fans can listen to Sunday's game starting at 1:50 p.m. on HornetSports.com/Radio.