SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Maranne Johnson scored a career-best 41 points and became the third most scoring player in program history for Sacramento State Thursday night. Despite an incredibly gutsy effort by Johnson and all of her teammates - especially Raegen Rohn - Sacramento State dropped a thriller against Northern Arizona, 95-90 in overtime.
The Hornets came out slow in the first half, letting Northern Arizona building up a four-point first quarter lead and a 12-point lead at the half. The Sacramento State team that came out of the locker room at halftime looked like a new team, though, as they began chipping away at the Lumberjacks lead.
The Hornets outscored Northern Arizona 48-36 in the second half, eventually tying the game at 71 with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Johnson put up a game-tying layup with three second remaining in the game and Northern Arizona missed the potential game-winner as the game went to overtime, tied 85-85.
Northern Arizona controlled most of the extra five minutes, but the Hornets - and their fans - never went away, putting up a fight the entire way.
While multiple players on the Hornets did heavy lifting in Thursday night's game, Maranne Johnson led the pack with a career-best 41 points against the Lumberjacks. The senior guard got off to a quick start, scoring 16 first-half points and adding 20 more in the second half. She scored all five of Sacramento State's points in the overtime period.
Overall, Johnson went 15-for-32 (47%) from the floor, setting career-highs for field goals and field goals attempted. She was also 8-for-9 from the free throw line, both career-highs. In addition, she led the team with nine rebounds and six steals in 43 minutes.
Johnson's 41 points are the most scored by an individual player in a conference game in program history. She finished just four points back of Kristy Ryan's single-game record in any game of 45 points against UC Irvine in 1993.
On top of the single-game records Johnson set tonight, she also climbed into the number three spot for most career points in Sacramento State women's basketball program history. She entered the night with 1,502 career points and finished with 1,543, passing Kylie Kuhns (1,504 points; 2009-13). She trails both Heidi Carrolls (1,729 points; 1982-86) and Kristy Ryan (2,064 points; 1990-94) career point totals.
While her big night certainly led the Hornets, the rest of the Sacramento State roster put forth an impressive effort in Thursday's night's battle. Hannah Friend scored 23 points in just 30 minutes for Sacramento State before fouling out. She went 8-for-20 from the floor, including 3-for-9 from three and 4-for-5 from the line.
As a duo, Johnson and Friend have been among the top 10 in most offensive categories all season. Thursday night, they combined for 64 points, the second most ever scored by a duo in any game in Sacramento State women's basketball history. That record belong to Kristy Ryan (45 points) and Sarah Stapp (25 points), who combined for 70 points at UC Irvine in 1993.
Friend and Johnson's 64 points are the most ever scored by a duo in a Big Sky conference game, though, passing the previous record of 54 (a mark they achieved earlier this season).
As a team, Sacramento State battled foul trouble early and often in their loss against Northern Arizona. In addition to Friend, who fouled out with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, Kennedy Nicholas fouled out with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter and Quayonna Harris fouled out with two minutes left to play. Johnson finished with four.
After losing Friend, Nicholas, and Harris, Sacramento State was down to it's final five active players. When Raegen Rohn came down awkwardly on the foot of a Northern Arizona player after shooting a three, she had to come off the court, forcing the Hornets to play four-on-five for nearly a minute. Rohn would return to the game, battling through the injury for the final minute of regulation and five minutes of overtime
As a team, Sacramento State took 97 shots, far and away a season-high. However, they made just 34 of those shots, shooting 35.1% overall. They were just 22.9% from beyond the arc (8-35) though they made 14 of 20 free throws (70.0%).
Normally a team that excels from outside, Sacramento State scored 52 of their 90 points in the paint Thursday night, outscoring the Lumberjacks down low 52-38. They struggled on the boards, however, as they were outrebounded by Northern Arizona 71-42.
The Lumberjacks shot 44.3% (31-70) as a team, led by Olivia Lucero (26 points, five assists, 12 rebounds). Four different Lumberjacks recorded a double-double in the overtime affair.
Sacramento State did push Northern Arizona into 27 turnovers, but they only turned those turnovers into 24 points.
The Hornets will be back in action again at the Nest this weekend as the host Southern Utah on Saturday. Tip off is scheduled for 2:05 pm PT.