BOISE, Idaho (AP)Jordan Olivares scored a career-high 26 points, Kaylin Randhawa added a season-high 20 and Sacramento State earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 76-63 win over Northern Arizona in the championship game of the Big Sky Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
The third-seeded Hornets and top-seeded Lumberjacks, who tied for the regular-season title with Montana State, played even except for Sacrament State dominated the second quarter 15-4 to avenge two losses to NAU this season.
Olivares hit a tough shot in the lane as time expired at the end of the first quarter to give Sacrament State a 22-18 lead and the momentum. The Hornets scored the first seven points of the second quarter and added an 8-0 run after a Northern Arizona free throw.
After missing 13 straight shots, the Lumberjacks hit a 3-pointer in the final minute and trailed 37-22 at the break.
Big Sky MVP Kahlaijah Dean, a transfer from Oakland, added 16 points for the Hornets (25-7), who have won nine straight to match the 2013-14 team.
Although Dean was just 1 of 10 from 3-point range her only make came seven seconds after tipoff and Sacramento State never trailed.
Emily Rodabaugh scored 18 points for Northern Arizona (21-13), which had won six straight and was playing in its second straight title game. Regan Schenck added 12 and Olivia Moran 10. The only NCAA Tournament appearance for the Lumberjacks came in 2006.
Sacramento State led by 20 late in the third quarter after a Randhawa 3. Schenck opened the fourth with a 3 to make it 52-42 and Moran’s layup cut it to 70-61 before the Hornets scored the next five from the foul line.
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