(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
SACRAMENTO — The Montana State women’s basketball team registered 24 turnovers- its most since the opening weekend of the season- and were never able to recover from a first quarter onslaught as Sacramento State posted an 88-77 victory over the Bobcats on Thursday night in The Nest.
Montana State (13-10, 7-5) turned the ball over on its first four possessions and Sacramento State (4-18, 2-9) used a total of six Bobcat miscues to build an eight-point cushion five minutes into the quarter. The Hornets held a 24-18 advantage after the first frame.
The Hornets built a 15-point margin with two-minutes, 15-seconds left in the second period on its eighth 3-pointer of the half and entered intermission with a 46-37 lead.
Sacramento State shot 61 percent from the field in the first 20-minutes, including an eight-of-13 performance from beyond the arc. In addition, the Hornets parlayed 14 MSU miscues into 22 points.
“The turnovers were the key to the game,” said MSU head coach Tricia Binford. “We did a poor job taking care of the ball. I was disappointed with our approach heading into the game. Give Sacramento State credit, they were the aggressor the full forty-minutes.”
The Hornets opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run and held a 19-point lead heading into the final period.
Sacramento State held a 21-point advantage with five-minutes remaining, before the Bobcats mounted its best offensive run of the game cutting the Hornet lead to 84-75 with 52-seconds left following a layup by Delany Junkermier. MSU would get no closer in the waning moments.
“Their full-court man-pressure had us playing rushed,” Binford said. “We were on our heels from the start. We have to take a deep breath and find a way to regroup by Saturday afternoon.”
MSU had four players in double-figures led by Hannah Caudill with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Also in double-digits were Rebekah Hatchard 16, Junkermier 14, and Madeline Smith 12.
Smith guided the Bobcats under the glass with a team-best five rebounds.
For the game, Montana State shot 51 percent from the field and 40 percent from long distance. However, an oft stingy defense saw the Hornets hit at a 53 percent clip, including 42 percent from beyond the arc.
Hannah Friend guided the Hornets with 31 points and nine rebounds.
Montana State will play at Portland State on Saturday afternoon in the Rose City.