FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon, but Northern Arizona battled back before taking the lead with less than a second remaining, sealing the 71-69 loss for the Hornets.
The loss drops Sacramento State to 9-13 overall and 5-9 in the Big Sky. Northern Arizona improves to 9-15 while climbing to 5-10 in league.
After taking a 19-19 tie into the first break, the Hornets started to pull away in the second quarter. Sacramento State scored 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting in the game's second quarter while limiting the Lumberjacks to just 13 points. As the team's entered the half, the Hornets held an eight-point, 40-32 lead.
Sacramento State was unable to keep up the pressure in the second half, however, as Northern Arizona kept pace in the third quarter before storming back in the fourth. The dagger came with 0.7 seconds remaining as the Lumberjacks' Kaleigh Paplow buried a midrange jumper to take the lead, 71-69.
It was the first time the Lumberjacks had led since midway through the first quarter. In total on Saturday, Sacramento State led for just shy of 35 minutes while Northern Arizona led for just 29 seconds the entire afternoon.
Junior Hannah Friend led both teams in scoring and in rebounding, putting up 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting and pulling in 13 total rebounds, including four off the offensive glass.
It was the 11th time in 22 games this season that Friend has topped the 20-point mark and it raised her average this season to 19.1 points per game. She also averages 8.3 rebounds per game, second most on the team and fifth best in the conference.
Northern Arizona did an excellent job of neutralizing the other of Sacramento State's big two, holding Kennedy Nicholas to just 11 points and six rebounds. The 11-point performance was her lowest since scoring eight against Idaho State and the six rebounds are the second fewest for the junior all season.
Just two nights after helping carry the Hornets to a six-point overtime victory at Southern Utah, Gabi Bade continued to do work for Sacramento State, scoring 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting. She was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and led the team with three assists.
As a team, Sacramento State shot 44.6% from the floor, better than Northern Arizona's 41.9%. The difference ended up coming mostly at the free throw line, where the Lumberjacks went 15-for-23 compared to the Hornets 10-for-18. Sacramento State committed 23 total fouls, including five for Nicholas, against Northern Arizona's 18.
Sacramento State's season-long three-game road trip concludes with an away contest at Weber State on Wednesday. It is Kids Day in Ogden, so Wednesday's tip off is scheduled for 11:05 am PT. More details, including streaming information, notes, and more, can b found online at HornetSports.com.