The undersize and scrappy Sacramento State women’s basketball team lives and dies by the three-point shot, a hallmark of their mega-fast style of play called “The System.”
That’s why Hornets coach Bunky Harkleroad often can be heard encouraging, sometimes imploring, his players to keep bombing away even when they are ice-cold from beyond the arc.
“If you’re a shooter, you’ve got to shoot through it,” Harkleroad said. “If you do the work in practice, have an unshakeable confidence and are mentally tough, then you keep shooting.”
Sac State leads NCAA Division I women’s teams with 715 three-point attempts and made three-pointers with 12.1 per game. Sac State shot an NCAA-record 80 threes in a 117-99 loss at Cal earlier this season, and the Hornets already hold D-I season records for three-pointers attempted and made, both set last season.
But even for the prolific Hornets (7-10, 4-2 Big Sky Conference), Saturday’s 126-78 win at Portland State was monstrous. Sac State shattered the D-I record for three-pointers made in a game with 25 (55 attempts). That bettered the previous record of 22 set by Florida Gulf Coast in 2013.
She plays her heart out, and I think she has to because she doesn’t have the physical attributes. We’ve got a team full of those.
Bunky Harkleroad, Sac State women’s basketball coach
Junior guard Brianna Burgos led the way with a career-high 32 points and equaled her career high with six made threes. It was the most points scored by a Hornets player since 2012 and earned the former Sheldon High School standout All-Big Sky co-Player of the Week honors with Eastern Washington senior guard Hayley Hodgins. The 5-foot-6 Burgos also had career highs in steals (five) and assists (five) and committed just one turnover in 27 minutes.
“She plays her heart out, and I think she has to because she doesn’t have the physical attributes,” Harkleroad said. “We’ve got a team full of those. With Brie, we always need more shots from her because she can put it in the hole.”
Eight Hornets hit at least one three-pointer. Freshman Raegen Rohn and sophomores Justyce Dawson and Abbey Goodsell each made four; sophomores Maranne Johnson and Taylor Brown and senior Ericka Magaña each had two; and junior Gretchen Harrigan had one.
Sac State is once again second in the nation in scoring (87.2 points per game) behind No. 1 Connecticut. The Hornets lead the nation in steals (15.5), turnovers forced (26), turnover margin (12.47) and are second in offensive rebounds per game (20).
The Hornets, tied for fourth in the Big Sky with Weber State, face two huge challenges at home this week. They play third-place Idaho (13-6, 5-2) on Thursday night then take on conference leader Eastern Washington (13-6, 7-0) on Saturday.
Let’s play two, again – The UC Davis women (11-7, 4-1 Big West Conference), winners of five of their past six, host Long Beach State (14-5, 3-2) on Thursday night, then play a doubleheader with the Aggies men’s team on Saturday. The UCD women will play UC Santa Barbara (7-13, 4-2) at 3 p.m., followed by the Aggies men (7-11, 2-3 before Wednesday’s game against Cal State Fullerton) taking on Cal Poly (8-10, 2-3) in the 5:30 p.m. nightcap. It’s the third UCD doubleheader of the season.
The Aggies women are second in the Big West behind UC Riverside (12-7, 5-0). UC Santa Barbara handed the Aggies their only conference loss 66-59 last Thursday in Santa Barbara before the Aggies rebounded to beat Cal Poly 75-57 in San Luis Obispo on Saturday.
‘We’re in a funk’ – After Sac State lost 81-63 Saturday to Portland State in front of a sellout crowd at The Nest, Hornets men’s coach Brian Katz couldn’t hide his disappointment.
We’ve lost our confidence, no question about that.
Brian Katz, Sac State men’s basketball coach
“I didn’t see this coming,” Katz said. “We’ve lost our confidence, no question about that. We’re in a funk.”
The Hornets (8-9, 1-5 Big Sky), 11th in the 12-team conference, will try to climb out of that funk on the road this week. They play Thursday at Idaho (12-8, 4-3) and Saturday at Eastern Washington (9-10, 3-4).
New UCD football assistants – Aggies football coach Ron Gould has hired two assistant coaches, Tim Keane and Bryant Haines.
Keane played and coached at UCD before working as offensive coordinator at the College of Idaho under former UCD player-coach Mike Moroski. Keane will coach the Aggies’ offensive line.
Haines, who coached the defensive line last season at Indiana (Pa.) University, will coach linebackers at UCD. A former Ball State linebacker, Haines was a graduate-assistant coach at Ohio State in 2013.
Sac State soccer – The Sac State men’s soccer team succeeded on and off the pitch during their nine days in Costa Rica. The Hornets finished 2-1-1 playing against reserve teams from Costa Rica’s top professional league.
In addition to seeing many of the Central American country’s sites and soaking in the atmosphere, the players also visited a children’s center, where they donated several bags of gifts.