The women’s basketball team begins Big Sky Conference play this week with an away game against the Sacramento State Hornets on Thursday night.
The Hornets will no doubt be looking to avenge the 71-43 thumping they received from Portland State at the end of last season. The Hornet’s were held to only eight points in the first half of the game, tying the NCAA Division I record for fewest points in a half.
Vikings Nikki Petticrew, Sarah Hedgepeth and Heidi Stuart were pivotal players in this victory – all three scoring double-digit point totals. They have all been performing well in recent games and should prove to be just as effective against the Hornets this year.
Sacramento State has definitely struggled the past few seasons, only recently breaking a 44-game losing streak with a Dec. 21 win over California’s Notre Dame de Namur University. It then went on to lose four straight.
Prior to that win, the last Hornet victory occurred two seasons ago on Jan. 27, 2001, in a game against PSU. That was also the last time the Hornets defeated a fellow BSC team. Last season, the team went 0-27, losing only one game by less than 10 points. Needless to say, Sacramento State has not seen any tournament action in quite awhile.
Hornet head coach Carolyn Jenkins has apparently had some problems finding the right chemistry among her starting line-up, using eight different combinations of players in the team’s last nine competitions. Freshman Sarah Craig is currently the top Hornet scorer and ranks sixth in Big Sky Conference in scoring and seventh in rebounding so far this season. Though all of the kinks have yet to be worked out, the team has definitely seen some improvement this season and has earned at least a couple of victories, with a current record of 2-11.
The Vikings head into conference play with a record of 5-8. After facing the Hornets, PSU will travel to Flagstaff to take on Northern Arizona on Saturday. UNA recently had a huge overtime win over UNLV. The next Viking home game will take place on Jan. 25 against the Eastern Washington Eagles.