SAN JOSE, Calif. – Sacramento State cut the deficit to two points late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, but San Jose State managed to fend off the Hornets attack just long enough to hand Sacramento State a 73-67 loss on the road.
With the loss, Sacramento State is now 1-2. San Jose State, meanwhile, improves to 3-1.
The Hornets came out firing once again on Sunday, jumping out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter. They shot 44.4% in the quarter and buried four threes, including two by sophomore guard Summer Menke.
Sacramento State cooled off dramatically in the second period, however, scoring just 10 points as San Jose State took a 40-31 lead into the half. The Hornets made just four baskets in the 10-minute period as the Spartans outscored them, 28-10.
Despite the tough quarter, the Hornets refused to quit, and began chipping away at the deficit after the halftime break, turning a nine-point deficit into a six-point one after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Hornets managed to pull within two points after Menke drained another three with just over six minutes to play. That was as close as Sacramento State would get, however, as the Spartans fended off the late rally before securing the 73-67 win.
Menke's fourth-quarter three was one of two in the period and one of four in the game. The sophomore guard finished with a team-high 18 points for the second straight game on 7-for-12 shooting (4-7 from three). She also had three steals and four rebounds in the game.
Her 18 points match her career-best, a mark she has now reached three times, including each of the last two games.
Gabi Bade continued to excel in all areas for Sacramento State, finishing with 14 points while leading the team with both nine rebounds and six assists. Through three games this season, Bade leads the Hornets in scoring (18.3 ppg), rebounding (8.3 rpg), and assists (4.3 apg).
Making her 2019-20 debut, senior forward Kennedy Nicholas played 18 minutes off the bench for the Hornets on Sunday. Nicholas, who was a preseason Big Sky all-conference selection, finished with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting and pulled in six boards.
Tiana Johnson eclipsed the 10-point mark for Sacramento State on Sunday, as well, finishing with 11. The redshirt sophomore guard has now scored in double figures in back-to-back games.
In total, Sacramento State shot 33.3% from the floor (26-78) and 27.5% from distance. The Hornets shot a season-low nine free throws and made four as the Spartans committed just 14 fouls in the game.
The 11 made three are most in a game so far this season for Sacramento State, as the team slowly finds its footing when shooting from beyond the arc.
San Jose State shot 40.9% (27-66) and were 6-of-23 from three (26.1%). They made 13 of 20 free throw attempts (65.0%).
Sunday's game was the first of five straight road contests for Sacramento State. The Hornets continue their road trip with a Wednesday morning game at Cal Poly. Scheduled for an 11 am tip off on Wednesday, Nov. 20, the Hornets will look for their first road win of the year against the Mustangs, a team they beat at home, 88-85, a season ago. Details for Wednesday's game can be found online at HornetSports.com.