WOMEN'S BASKETBALL POSTSEASON HOPES ON THE LINE IN FINAL WEEKEND
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With its Big Sky Tournament hopes at stake, the Sacramento State women's basketball team will play host to Idaho State on Thursday for Senior Day and its final home game before heading to Portland State on Saturday for the last contest of the regular season.
Senior Emily Christensen will be honored before Idaho State game on Thursday night.
The Hornets (10-17, 5-9 Big Sky) will battle the Bengals at 5:05 p.m. on Thursday at The Nest in a doubleheader with the Sacramento State men's basketball team and play the Vikings in Portland, Ore., at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday. Senior Emily Christensen will be honored before the game on Thursday.
* See below for a complete breakdown of the Hornets' tournament qualifying scenarios while a PDF version of the game notes are available at the link above the photo.
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IDAHO STATE BREAKDOWN
Record: 20-6, 12-1 Big Sky (First)
All-Time Div. I Series: 1-31
Last Meeting: L, 78-57 (1/14/12)
Notable: Idaho State can clinch the Big Sky Conference regular season title with a win versus the Hornets on Thursday and an Eastern Washington loss at home to Portland State.
PORTLAND STATE BREAKDOWN
Record: 13-12, 5-7 Big Sky (Sixth)
All-Time Div. I Series: 9-24
Last Meeting: W, 71-67 (2/18/12)
Notable: Portland State is No. 4 in the nation in FT%, making 79.9 percent of its shots from the charity stripe as a team. Courtney VanBrocklin is No. 2 in the NCAA with a 90.8 FT%.
BIG SKY TOURNAMENT QUALIFYING SCENARIOS
With just two games left on the 2011-12 schedule, Sacramento State is battling with Portland State for the final bid to the Big Sky Conference Tournament. Idaho State, Eastern Washington, Montana State, Northern Colorado and Montana have clinched the top five seeds. The league takes the top six teams to the tourney with the No. 1 seed hosting. Currently, Portland State is sixth in the standings with a 5-7 league record while Sacramento State is seventh with a 5-9 conference mark. While the Hornets have two games left this season (vs. Idaho State, at Portland State), Portland State has four games remaining (at Eastern Washington, vs. Sacramento State, vs. Montana, at Northern Colorado). The Hornets defeated the Vikings last weekend and the two teams play again on Feb. 25 in the Hornets’ season finale. Here are the four ways the season can play out:
• If Sacramento State beats both Idaho State and Portland State - this would give the Hornets a 7-9 league record and the head-to-head tiebreaker over PSU. Portland State would still have to lose one of its other three remaining games to vault the Hornets into the Big Sky Tournament.
• If Sacramento State loses to Idaho State and wins at Portland State - this would give the Hornets a 6-10 league record and the tiebreaker over PSU. Portland State, however, would have to lose at least two of its other three remaining games to give the Hornets the No. 6 seed.
• If Sacramento State beats Idaho State but loses at Portland State - this scenario would make things difficult for the Hornets, but not impossible. Sacramento State would finish with a 6-10 league record but would split the head-to-head with PSU. The Vikings would have to lose all three of their remaining games to also finish with a 6-10 league mark. The tiebreaker would then come down to the two teams’ records against the No. 1 team in the league, which would be Idaho State. With a win over the Bengals, the Hornets would have the tiebreaker. However, if Idaho State were to lose out to Eastern Washington in the final two games of the season, the Eagles would be the No. 1 team. But since both PSU and Sacramento State were swept by EWU in this scenario, it would go to the No. 2 team in the standings, Idaho State, and the Hornets would still go to the tournament.
• If Sacramento State loses to both Idaho State and Portland State - in this case the Hornets are out of the tournament as they finish with, at minimum, one less league victory than Portland State.
Thursday’s game against Idaho State will be the finale home game in senior Emily Christensen’s stellar career. The forward will finish her final season in Green and Gold ranked in school’s all-time top-10 in scoring (1,084), made field goals (424), made three-point field goals (142), and rebounds (513). Entering the weekend, Christensen has made 61 starts in 105 career games and played 2,502 total minutes (23.8 average).
KUHNS EARNS SECOND POTW AWARD
Kylie Kuhns has been named Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for games played the week of Feb. 13 through Feb. 19, the league announced on Monday. It was Kuhns’ third career POTW award. She was also the named POTW by the league on Jan. 3 following home victories over NAU and Weber State.
KUHNS LEADS NCAA IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Kylie Kuhns, along with Drake’s Rachael Hackbarth, ranks No. 1 in the nation with 19 double-doubles this season. After Kuhns and Hackbarth, no other player in the country has more than 17 double-doubles. Kuhns has 34 career double-doubles after she paced the Big Sky with 13 as a sophomore and had two in her freshman campaign. This year she has a double-double in all but eight of 27 games. After missing on a double-double in the second game of the season at Oklahoma on Nov. 13, she recorded 13 straight, until she was held to six points at Northern Colorado on Jan. 7.
KUHNS NO. 4 IN NCAA REBOUNDING
Kylie Kuhns ranks No. 1 in the Big Sky Conference and No. 4 in the NCAA with 11.8 rebounds per game. Kuhns has posted at least 10 rebounds in all but six of 27 games with a season-high 17 at UC Irvine on Dec. 11. She set the single-game school record with 23 boards last year in a win versus San Francisco and finished her sophomore season ranked No. 12 in the nation with 11.0 rpg.
A HELPING HAND
Sacramento State ranks No. 5 in the NCAA averaging 17.9 assists per game. Freshman Fantasia Hilliard leads the team and is No. 2 in the Big Sky with 4.7 apg while each of the other four regular starters average at least two assists per game.
GET THAT WEAK SHOT OUTTA HERE
The Hornets have set a new single-season blocks record with 137 thus far as a team. The previous record was set last season with 110 blocked shots. This season Megan Kritscher (42, tied for No. 7) and Kylie Kuhns (35, tied for No. 10) have both moved into the top-10 on the school’s all-time single season blocks list.
As a team, Sacramento State ranks No. 9 nationally with 12.7 steals per game. Individually, the Hornets boast three players ranked in the top-10 of the Big Sky in steals per game - Alle Moreno ranks No. 2 (2.5), Kylie Kuhns is No. 5 (2.3) and Fantasia Hilliard is No. 9 (1.9).
MORENO SETS THREE-POINTERS ATTEMPTED RECORD
Alle Moreno has attempted 236 three-pointers this season, which is the most for a single season in school history. The previous record was 214 set by Sami Field-Polisso last year. Emily Christensen, with 216 attempts from downtown this year, also eclipsed the previous record.
TWIN 1,000 POINT SCORERS
Senior Emily Christensen became the ninth player in school history to tally 1,000 career points on Jan. 19 against Montana State while junior Kylie Kuhns joined her on Feb. 4 versus Eastern Washington. The pair joined Kristy Ryan (2,064), Heidi Carroll (1,729), Sarah Stapp (1,438), Julie Watsell (1,322), Terri Lugert (1,306), Charday Hunt (1,237), Teresa Hampton (1,023) and Shelby Boudreaux (1,013) in the Sacramento State record books as 1,000 point scorers. It is only the second time in school history when two 1,000 point scorers played on the same team (1995-96, Shelby Boudreaux and Sarah Stapp.)