Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 2 – Southern Utah came out on the losing end of a 93-86 offensive battle at Sacramento State on Saturday in a game that saw both teams shoot over 42 percent from the field. The loss drops SUU to 4-7 in the Big Sky and 10-10 overall while the Hornets improve to 7-4 in conference play and 12-10 on the season.
Southern Utah battled to keep things close early on as Sacramento State doubled up the score at 16-8 only to see the T-Birds run off six-straight to bring the margin back to two. The home team went on to pull ahead again as a pair of free throws by Fantasia Hilliard gave the Hornets their largest lead of the game at 36-22.
Another SUU run brought the deficit back down to four on a Tayler Anderson layup late in the period, but Hilliard knocked down a three to put her team out in front by a score of 48-40 at the half.
Hilliard hit two of her first three shots from behind the arc and went 4-4 at the foul line to lead the Hornets with 16 points in the early going. Moreland put up 10 points in the half on 5-for-5 shooting for Southern Utah while pulling down seven rebounds.
The Thunderbirds came out of the break firing, outscoring their opponents by a count of 19-5 in the first six minutes to take a 59-53 lead. SUU used a quick 8-0 run to close the gap, then got a three from Andrea Jones to go up by two. Moreland then added two more layups as Southern Utah increased its advantage to six.
Sac State came back to retake the lead at 65-61 after Se’nyce Parrish scored a layup to cap a 12-2 run. Hilliard followed that up with back-to-back baskets to push the margin to 70-63 at the ten-minute mark.
SUU narrowed the deficit with six unanswered, getting a couple of scores from Moreland and a three from Mandelko, to pull within one at 70-69. The Hornets then ran off a 10-3 streak however to up the margin to 80-72 with just over six minutes remaining.
The T-Birds rallied once again and a deep three from Marquelle Funk brought it back to a single possession game at 83-81 with 4:03 left to play. Sacramento State was able to hold off SUU down the stretch however to come up with the 93-86 victory.
Moreland recorded her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Anderson scored a career-high 16 for Southern Utah. Hilliard had a career-night for the Hornets, finishing with 24 points, 10 assists, eight steals and seven rebounds. Kylie Kuhns also posted a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Sacramento State held a narrow shooting advantage with a field goal percentage mark of 43.4 percent to Southern Utah’s 42 percent and also finished with a slight edge from the outside and at the foul line. SUU outrebounded the Hornets 52-46 and turned the ball over 24 times while Sac State gave up 22 takeaways.
Southern Utah will look to gain ground in the conference standings this Monday with a visit to Northern Arizona. The T-Birds and Lumberjacks are scheduled to tip things off at 6:35 p.m. Coverage of the game is available at www.suutbirds.com.
Sat. Mar. 8
vs. Northern Colorado
(W) 63 -48
Thu. Mar. 6
vs. North Dakota
(W) 73 -53
Sat. Mar. 1
vs. Montana State
(W) 70 -60
Wed. Feb. 26
(W) 69 -49
Sat. Feb. 22
@ Portland State
(W) 86 -79
Thu. Feb. 20
@ Eastern Washington
(L) 54 -59
Thu. Mar. 13
Big Sky Conference Tournament