SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team took a 32-29 point lead into the half on Saturday in the Nest, but managed just 21 second-half points as they fell to the Montana State Bobcats, 69-53.
With the loss, Sacramento State falls to 4-7 on the year and 0-3 in the Big Sky. For Montana State, they improve to 8-6 overall and 3-1 in conference.
Hannah Friend led Sacramento State in scoring for the ninth time in 11 games Saturday, scoring a team-high 17 points. She pulled down nine rebounds, also a team-high, while adding four assists. In 11 games this season, Friend has scored at least 13 points and is averaging a team-high 21.1 points.
Just two days after playing a team-high 48 minutes in a double-overtime affair against Montana, Friend again led the team with 35 minutes played. She and teammate Tiara Scott are the only Hornets to average more than 30 minutes a game this season, logging 30.8 and 30.1, respectively.
Speaking of Scott, the junior point guard had a strong game for the Hornets, totaling a team-high five assists while also scoring 12 points. She was 4-for-9 overall from the floor, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.
The Hornets led at the half for the second straight game, but like Thursday against Montana, second-half struggles proved too much to overcome. After shooting 36.7% in the first half, Sacramento State managed just 28.6% from the floor in the second. They scored just eight points in the fourth quarter and were held to 0-for-2 from beyond the arc. In each of their three Big Sky games this season, Sacramento State has scored fewer than 10 points in one quarter.
Sacramento State led for nearly the entirety of the first half and pulled away by as much as seven early in the third quarter. But after a Gabi Bade jumper at 8:15 in the third, Montana State went on a 16-6 run to take the lead and never looked back. They finished the third with a 51-45 lead before outscoring the Hornets 18-8 in the game's final 10 minutes.
While the Hornets struggled to find their shot in the second half, Montana State got better as the game went on, shooting 46.8% in the final two quarters compared to 34.6% in the first two.
Sacramento State will have a week off before taking the court for their next game, a road contest on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Idaho State. That game is scheduled for a 1:05 pm tip as the Hornets look for their first conference win of the year. For more details on live stats and video streaming, visit Sacramento State women's basketball on HornetSports.com.