The Sacramento State women’s basketball team hasn’t wasted any time adapting to new coach Bunky Harkleroad’s supersonic offense in beating Cal State Northridge 92-73 last Friday and San Diego State 93-89 on Sunday at the Nest.
After breaking the team record with 17 3-point field goals against Northridge, the Hornets made 18 3-pointers against San Diego State while making a team-record 49 attempts. The Hornets’ 91 field-goal attempts were a school record.
Harkleroad, a late hire in replacing Jamie Craighead (now at San Jose State), is an adherent of “The System,” in which as many as five new players shuttle into the game every 45 seconds to a minute with an emphasis on shooting 3-point field goals, forcing turnovers and grabbing offensive rebounds.
During Sunday’s win over the Aztecs, senior Alle Moreno from St. Mary’s of Stockton set the school record for career 3-pointers made while scoring a team-high 23 points. Moreno has 180 3-pointers, surpassing the school-record of 176 previously held by Kim Sheehy (2004-2007).
The 5-foot-5 Moreno, named the Big Sky Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on Tuesday, picked up her fourth foul with more than 13 minutes to play but managed to stay on the floor and scored eight points in the final three minutes to help the Hornets to rally for the win.
In the two games, Moreno totaled 38 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and four steals. She combined to shoot 9 of 15 from 3-point range and 10 of 18 overall from the field while going 9 of 12 at the free-throw line. Six of her 10 rebounds came on the offensive glass as she also led the team with 49 minutes.
Freshmen Hallie Gennett and Gigi Hascheff and New Mexico State transfer Andrea Chenier had strong debuts for the Hornets.
Gennett, a guard from Reno, made eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting against Northridge. Hascheff, a forward from Idaho, had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists against San Diego State.
Chenier, a junior guard, had 14 points against Northridge and 17 against San Diego State.
Sac State plays at Oregon State on Friday morning and at Oregon on Sunday afternoon, which should be an interesting matchup.
Oregon is coached by Paul Westhead, a former NBA and WNBA coach whose 1990 Loyola Marymount team set an NCAA Division I men’s season record for scoring at 122.4 points per game. Last Saturday, the Ducks set Pacific-12 Conference and school records for 3-pointers made (20) and points while beating Cal State Bakersfield 131-91 in Eugene, Ore.
Former McClatchy standout Ariel Thomas is a starting senior guard for Oregon.
It’s a so-called “payday game,” and the Hornets have done fairly well in those matchups, including an upset at Utah last season.
“UCLA is a different animal,” said coach Brian Katz. “They are really loaded. I’ve been trying to find a flaw, and I don’t see one yet.”
The Hornets also will play at UTEP on Dec. 7 and will open next season at mid-major power Gonzaga.
“It helps you a little bit all the way around,” Katz said. “It helps your recruiting, and you really find out what your warts are. I think two of those games a year are the right number. You get a few more and those games are hard to recover from.”
Sac State, which opened at home last Friday with a 73-43 win over UC Santa Cruz, plays tonight at Cal State Bakersfield.
The former St. Augustine of San Diego star scored 11 points in each of the Aggies’ first two games, a 100-83 loss at Portland last Friday and an 80-54 win at home Monday against Holy Names of Oakland. He’s averaging 23.5 minutes.
The Aggies’ three area players – Franklin’s Ryan Sypkens, Forest Lake Christian’s Josh Ritchart and Sacramento’s Darius Graham – also are playing well. Graham, a redshirt freshman point guard who played in 10 games last season before being injured, had a career-high 12 points against Portland and six assists and five rebounds against Holy Names.
Sypkens, a senior guard, had 25 points, including seven 3-pointers, against Holy Names, and 11 points against Portland while Ritchart tallied 34 points in the two games.
UC Davis is at Utah on Friday.
The junior forward from Villa Park played in only six games last season before suffering a season-ending injury.
The Aggies will play at No. 3 Stanford on Sunday.