The Sacramento State Hornets have been one of the top shooting teams in the NCAA so far this season.
However, if you saw them Friday night against the AP #19-ranked UCLA Bruins, you wouldn't be able to tell.
Going into the game as the no. 1 3-point shooting team in the nation, the Hornets (2-6) only made 8-39 from 3-point range in a 109-76 loss to UCLA (7-2), Sac State's worst loss of the season.
For the Hornets, sophomore Maranne Johnson had her third 20-point game of the season (20 pts, four rebounds and three steals), while junior Gretchen Harrigan was the only other Hornet with double figures in points (12 pts on 3-of-5 shooting, 4-of-4 on free throws).
Sac State coach Bunky Harkleroad gave a lot of credit to UCLA, who leads the all-time series between the schools, 5-0.\
"UCLA has a great point guard; they're a skilled, athletic basketball team," Harkleroad said.
The point guard Harkleroad was speaking of was 2015 WNIT Most Valuable player Jordin Canada, who had 16 points and seven assists in the victory. Canada was one of five UCLA players with double figures in points (Monique Billings, Kennedy Burke, Nirra Fields and Kacy Swain).
UCLA, making its first-ever trip to Sacramento State, showed no signs of nervousness, in the beginning, holding Sac State scoreless for more than half of the first quarter. At one point, UCLA went on an 18-0 run. Sac State shot 2-of-18 from the field to start the game, at one point missing 13 consecutive shots. UCLA would lead 28-16 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, however, the buzz started to grow louder in The Nest as Sac State went on a 10-0 run. The Hornets managed to cut the lead to 30-26; that's the closest Sac State would get to UCLA. Though both teams scored 25 points apiece in the second quarter, UCLA lead at the half 53-41. And that is when the gloves went off.
From the end of the first half to the first three minutes of the third quarter, UCLA went on a 10-0 run to give them a 20-point lead. Sac State would not get within 19 points of them for the remainder of the quarter, as UCLA continued to drop basket after basket. The Bruins would lead by more than 20 the remainder of the fourth to keep Sac State out of reach.
Harkleroad was fairly disappointed in how much Sac State played out of sync.
"I'm not sure why we were so reluctant to shoot the ball," Harkleroad said, referring to the team's 27-of-89 field goal attempts (30.3%) and 14-of-24 free throw attempts.
UCLA shot 62.9% from the field (44-of-70) and went 18-of-21 from the free throw line. Sac State, however, did have the advantage on offensive rebounds (19 to UCLA' s 13).