SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State got off to a hot start in Thursday's Field Trip Day game in the Nest, taking a double-digit lead over the visiting Northern Colorado Bears. Despite the hot starts, the Bears battled back, eventually handing the Hornets a 73-63 loss.
With the loss, Sacramento State drops to 3-12 overall and 1-5 in Big Sky play. Northern Colorado, meanwhile, improves to 7-7 and 3-2 in league.
When the Hornets took the court Thursday, they did so in front of 400 cheering students from local classrooms for their annual Field Trip Day in the Nest. The extra energy was obvious early as the Hornets pulled out to an eight-point, 20-12 lead over the visiting Bears. They led by as many as 11 late in the quarter.
That lead quickly evaporated in the second period, however, as the Bears went on a 15-0 run to start the second quarter before ultimately outscoring the Hornets, 25-6 over the 10-minute stretch.
Trailing 37-26 at the half, Sacramento State managed to climb back within seven on two separate occasions, but was unable to overcome the deficit, ultimately falling to the Bears, 73-63.
It was King who once again paced the Sacramento State offense, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting. King couldn't miss in the first quarter, going 3-for-3 overall (2-2 3PT) and 1-for-1 at the free throw line.
She finished the afternoon draining four of six three attempts while also adding four assists and two steals.
King has finished with 20+ points three games in a row now for Sacramento State, including a career-best 25 last Thursday at Northern Arizona. Over her last five games, the senior guard is averaging 21.8 points and is shooting 49.3%, including an incredible 55% from beyond the arc.
Nicholas collected her third double-double of the year after scoring 19 points and pulling in 11 rebounds. Nicholas was 8-for-15 from the floor and made all three of her free throw attempts while picking up a season-high three steals.
With 11 more rebounds on Thursday, Nicholas continued her climb up the rankings in program history. The senior from Kirkland, Washington is sixth in total rebounds all-time with 731. She is averaging 8.7 rebounds per game this season.
Johnson contributed 13 points to Thursday's effort while also pulling in six rebounds. Johnson had an assist and a steal while also blocking two shots. Although she was just 4-for-14 overall, the sophomore continued to be excellent from the free throw line, going 4-for-4 on Thursday.
For the season, Johnson is shooting 91.4% (31-35) from the free throw line, best in the Big Sky Conference.
Despite the strong performance by the trio of Hornets, Sacramento State was beat in nearly every category on Thursday, including 50-34 in rebounds (18-9 offensive) and, crucially, 15-7 in second chance points.
As they have all season, though, Sacramento State won the turnover battle, 25-22, while picking up 16 steals to Northern Colorado's 11.
The Hornets will have a chance to right the ship on Saturday when they return to the Nest to host the visiting Southern Utah Thunderbirds at 2:05 p.m. PT.
Saturday's game is Sacramento State's annual Kids Day, featuring free admission for children 12 and under, a poster giveaway, postgame basketball clinic with the team, and autograph signings with the members of the Sacramento State women's basketball team.
For tickets or more information on Saturday's game, please visit the Sacramento State women's basketball homepage online at HornetSports.com.