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Sacramento State Holds On For 88-85 Home Win vs. Cal Poly

Sacramento State Holds On For 88-85 Home Win vs. Cal Poly

SACRAMENTO — Cal Poly established a six-point lead late in the third quarter Sunday at Sacramento State, but the Hornet women's basketball team rallied and held on down the stretch at home, edging the Mustangs for an 88-85 win at The Nest.

Senior center Devin Stanback, coming off a game-high 26-point effort at No. 8 Oregon State on Friday, bettered her days-old career high Sunday, scoring 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting. Stanback, now averaging 24.7 points through three games on the year, also had 11 rebounds and two blocks.

True freshman Maddie Willett scored 19 points, including a 5-for-6 afternoon from beyond the 3-point line, while senior forward Katie Nunnelley added 14 points and a career-best 17 rebounds.

Cal Poly jumped out to a quick start, scoring the game's first six points thanks to back-to-back layups by Nunnelley and then a basket from Stanback. Two Stanback free throws put the Mustangs up 17-9, but the Hornets regrouped, cutting the eight-point lead to one by the end of the period, 24-23.

Early on in the second quarter, Sacramento State (1-0) used a 7-0 spurt to move in front 30-26, but Cal Poly responded, as senior point guard Dye Stahley passed ahead off a steal to Nunnelley for a layup providing a 37-34 Mustang lead. Neither team led by any more than five during the quarter, with the Mustangs (1-2) heading to halftime up 48-47.

After returning to the floor from the break, Willett sank a 3 for a 56-52 advantage 1:22 into the second half, before a pair of free throws from Nunnelley with 1:43 to play in the third gave the Mustangs the largest lead of the quarter, 70-64.

The Hornets answered, however, beginning the fourth down 70-66 and then scoring the first 10 points of the final quarter, parlaying a 12-0 run spanning 4:50 to pull ahead 76-70 with 6:53 remaining.

Sacramento State took its largest lead at 80-73 on a Sarah Abney layup with 4:58 left in regulation, but a Stanback bucket followed by a three-point play off the foul by freshman Alli Hallberg narrowed the deficit to 80-78.

Stanback continued her strong game, converting a jumper and then sinking a free throw with 1:38 to play to tie it at 82-all.

Hannah Friend hit a jump shot, though, with 55 seconds on the clock to retake the lead for the Hornets, 84-82.

Hallberg and Stanback missed a couple looks at 3s on the ensuing possession (with Nunnelley securing the offensive rebound in-between), and Tiara Scott then made her third 3-pointer of the day, making it a two-possession game with only 15 seconds remaining: 87-82.

Willett drilled a 3 coming out of a timeout to give the Mustangs life late, closing the gap to 87-85 with 12 seconds to go. Following the foul to stop the clock, Scott made the first end of two free throws to make it 88-85, but missed the second.

Nunnelley grabbed the rebound and outletted to Hallberg for a last-second attempt at a potentially tying 3 — but her final look caromed off at the horn, as Sacramento State held on.

Cal Poly's four-game road trip will continue at Fresno State at 7 p.m. Wednesday before traveling to San Francisco for a 2 p.m. tipoff Sunday, Nov. 18.

Photos © David E. Holmes