SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team (3-11, 1-2) took the court Saturday afternoon looking to remain undefeated at home as they took on the Eastern Washington Eagles (7-9, 2-2). Instead, it was the Eagles who went home with the win as the Hornets fell 83-72.
Sacramento State fell behind early, heading into the first quarter break trailing 21-14. They battled in the second quarter, though, outscoring the Eagles 23-21 to head into half trailing by just five, 42-37.
The Hornets put together some quick scores early in the third quarter and after back-to-back buckets by Maranne Johnson and Kenned Nicholas, cut the deficit to one, 44-43. Unfortunately, Sacramento State wasn't able to take the lead and instead found themselves on the wrong end of a 16-3 Eastern Washington run.
Unable to recover, Sacramento State never trailed by less than seven in the game's final 15 minutes.
Turnovers were the real culprit in Saturday's loss to Eastern Washington. The Hornets committed 20 turnovers - their second highest total of the season - and the Eagles capitalized every time, scoring 21 points off of Sacramento State giveaways. Seven of the eight to play in the game for the Hornets had at least one turnover, including a team0high six by both Maranne Johnson and Hannah Friend.
For the second straight game, Friend led the Hornets in scoring, putting up 26 points on 6-of-16 shooting. She was 5-for-12 from beyond the arc and went 9-for-10 at the line while pulling down four rebounds.
The effort raised her points per game mark to 19.9, the highest it's been all season. She has scored 20 or more points seven times now, including in three of the team's last four games.
Also in double digits for the Hornets were Ragen Rohn - 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting - and Maranne Johnson - 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting. As a team, Sacramento State shot 39.3% (22-56) from the floor and 39.4% (13-33) from beyond the arc. They were 15-for-16 (93.8%) from the free throw line, their best mark this season.
Kennedy Nicholas finished just shy of her fourth double-double, collecting 10 rebounds and scoring eight points. The sophomore forward now has 10 or more rebounds in back-to-back games and in three of her last four. She also added two blocks in the loss and now has 15 for the season and five in her last two games.
Eastern Washington was led by their star forward Delany Hodgins, who scored 27 points and collected nine rebounds with also dishing out six assists and totaling four steals. As a team, the Eagles shot 49.2% (31-63) overall and were 7-of-20 (35.5) from three. They also made 14-of-18 (77.8%) free throws.
The loss is Sacramento State's first at home this season and drops them to 3-11 overall and 1-2 in Big Sky play. They'll continue conference play next Thursday as they travel north to take on Montana. That game is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 11 with a 6:05 pm PT tip.
After the game, the women's hoops team hosted their annual Kids Day Basketball Clinic, complete with drills, one-on-one coaching, and more. Both Sacramento State players and coaches helped lead the clinic for over 60 children on the court in the Nest.
Each participant in the basketball clinic received their own basketball and a team poster for autographs after the event.