WOMEN'S HOOPS HEADS TO BIG SKY TOURNAMENT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team will face Eastern Washington in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament at 4 p.m. PT on Thursday in Pocatello, Idaho.
The Hornets meet EWU in the Big Sky Tournament at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
The No. 6 seed Hornets (12-17, 7-9 Big Sky) come in on a four-game winning streak while the No. 3 seed Eagles (16-13, 10-6) have lost four consecutive games. Sacramento State dropped both games in the regular season to Eastern Washington, scoring an average of 73 points per game while allowing 84. Sophomore Alle Moreno averaged a team-high 17 points per game in the two games against the Eastern Washington, which feature Big Sky MVP Brianne Ryan.
No. 4 seed Montana State will play No. 5 seed Montana in the other quarterfinal game on Thursday while No. 1 seed Idaho State and No. 2 seed Northern Colorado earned first round byes.
ISU will meet the highest remaining seed after the first round and UNC will play the lower remaining seed.
All games of the Big Sky Tournament will be available on BigSkyTV (link below) and the championship game will also be shown on Altitude television.
*Full set of PDF game notes available at the link above the photo.
SACRAMENTO STATE BREAKDOWN
Record: 12-17, 7-9 Big Sky (No. 6 seed)
All-Time Div. I Series: 11-24
Last Meeting: L, 89-84 (2/4/12)
Notable: Sacramento State is making its third appearance in the Big Sky Tournament in the last four seasons and fifth appearance overall since joining the league in 1996-97.
EASTERN WASHINGTON BREAKDOWN
Record: 16-13, 10-6 Big Sky (No. 3 Seed)
Notable: While the Hornets won four straight games to end the regular season, Eastern Washington has lost four straight heading into the tournament. Brianne Ryan was named Big Sky MVP after leading the league in scoring. Chene Cooper was a second team selection.
GAMEDAY MEDIA LINKS
Live Stats | Big Sky TV
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
Sacramento State won its last four games to capture the final spot in the Big Sky Conference Tournament. The Hornets matched their longest winning streak of the season with four wins and the last time they won four straight league games was in 2009-10, head coach Jamie Craighead’s first season, when the Hornets were the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
CHRISTENSEN PLAYS BIG IN FINAL GAME
Sacramento State’s Emily Christensen had her best game of the season in the Hornets’ regular season finale at Portland State. The lone senior on the roster had a season-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. She also grabbed six rebounds and did not commit a single turnover.
MORENO HEATING UP
Sacramento State’s four wins to close out the regular season would not have been possible without Alle Moreno’s improved play. The sophomore guard averaged 20 points per game over the Hornets’ current four-game winning streak, including a game-high 25 in a win over first-place Idaho State.
BACK-TO-BACK PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS
Sacramento State’s strong finish garnered attention from the league. Kylie Kuhns was Big Sky player of the week on Feb. 20 while Alle Moreno earned the award on Feb. 27 - the last two weeks of Sacramento State’s season.
KUHNS SECOND IN NCAA IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Kylie Kuhns led the NCAA in double-doubles since the national office first released stats on Nov. 27, but was jumped by Drake’s Rachael Hackbarth during the Hornets’ bye last weekend. Kuhns has a conference-best 20 this season, good for second best in the NCAA, and has 35 for her career 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 nine of 29 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. Her 13 straight double-doubles is tied for the ninth longest streak in NCAA history. Oklahoma great Courtney Paris holds the longest streak with a ridiculous 112, spanning four seasons. The second longest streak is 19 by ODU’s Anne Donovan.
KUHNS NO. 5 IN NCAA IN REBOUNDING
Kylie Kuhns ranks No. 1 in the Big Sky Conference and No. 5 in the NCAA with 11.8 rebounds per game. Kuhns has posted at least 10 rebounds in all but six of 29 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.
REBOUNDS RECORD IN REACH
Kylie Kuhns has a chance to set the Sacramento State single-season school record for rebounds on Thursday against Eastern Washington. She has 343 boards and Kristy Ryan (1993-94) holds the record with 347. Kuhns’ current total is the fourth most in Big Sky history. Idaho State’s Natalie Doma holds the single-season conference record with 372. Third place is in reach for Kuhns, however, as Weber State’s Cindy Stumph had 354 during the 1982-83 season.
A HELPING HAND
Sacramento State ranks No. 5 in the NCAA averaging 18.2 assists per game. Freshman Fantasia Hilliard leads the team and is No. 2 in the Big Sky with 4.9 apg while each of the other four regular starters average at least two assists per game.
GET THAT WEAK SHOT OUTTA HERE
The Hornets set a new single-season school record with 143 blocks thus far as a team. That total ranks 13th in Big Sky Conference history. The previous school record was set last season with 110 blocked shots. This year, Megan Kritscher (43, seventh) and Kylie Kuhns (37, ninth) have both moved into the top-10 on the school’s all-time single season list.
As a team, Sacramento State ranks No. 8 nationally with 12.8 steals per game. Individually, the Hornets boast four players ranked in the top-15 of the Big Sky in steals per game - Alle Moreno at No. 2 (2.5), Kylie Kuhns is No. 5 (2.3), Fantasia Hilliard is No. 6 (1.9) and Mallorie Franco at No. 15 (1.6). Moreno’s team-high 73 steals is the third most in single-season school history, while Kuhns’ 66 is sixth and Hilliard’s 60 swipes is 10th.
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, Boudreaux and Stapp.)
HILLIARD REACHES 100 ASSISTS
Freshman point guard Fantasia Hilliard became just the seventh player in school history to reach the 100 assist mark for a single-season this year. Hilliard has 141 assists this season heading into Thursday’s game, which is the sixth most in school history.
RISE AND FIRE
Alle Moreno has attempted 253 three-pointers this season, which is the most for a single season in both Big Sky Conference and school history. The previous Big Sky record was 238, set by Montana State’s Amy Meckling in 2000-01. The previous Sacramento State school record was 214 set by Sami Field-Polisso last year. At the Big Sky Tournament, Moreno has a chance to set the school record for made three-pointers as well. With 75 this year, she needs just two more to tie the record of 77, set by both Michelle St. Clair and Erika Edwards. She needs only three more to tie Montana State’s Rebeca Mercer for second in Big Sky history with 78 three-pointers. Chelsey Warburton’s league record, 92, appears out of reach.