SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Fresh off a thrilling overtime win versus rival UC Davis, the Sacramento State women's basketball team will jump back into Big Sky Conference play with a visit to league newcomer Southern Utah on Saturday evening.
The Hornets (6-5, 1-1 Big Sky) will meet the Thunderbirds (7-4, 1-0) at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday at Centrum Arena. Sacramento State currently sits in a tie for fifth in the Big Sky Conference standings while Southern Utah is tied for third.
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SACRAMENTO STATE BREAKDOWN
Record: 6-5, 1-1 Big Sky Conference (T-5th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 2-8
Last Meeting: 6-9 (W, 68-67 (OT) 11/26/05)
Notable: The Hornets are coming off a thrilling, 66-65, overtime victory over rival UC Davis. With the win, the Hornets closed out their non-conference schedule for 2012-13.
SOUTHERN UTAH BREAKDOWN
Record: 7-4, 1-0 Big Sky Conference (T-3rd)
Notable: Southern Utah will be hosting its first league games this weekend as part of the Big Sky Conference with NAU and Sacramento State visiting. The Thunderbirds feature the No. 1 ranked scoring offense in the Big Sky (71 ppg) while the Hornets are No. 2 at 69.2.
THIS WEEK IN THE BIG SKY
Eastern Wash. - vs. Montana, vs. Montana State
Idaho State - at North Dakota, at Northern Colo.
Montana - at Eastern Wash., at Portland State
Montana State - at Portland State, at Eastern Wash.
Northern Arizona - at Southern Utah
Northern Colo. - vs. Weber State, vs. Idaho State
North Dakota - vs. Idaho State, vs. Weber State
Portland State - vs. Montana State, vs. Montana
Southern Utah - vs. Northern Arizona, Sac State
Weber State - at Northern Colo., at North Dakota
All Big Sky Conference games can be viewed on Big Sky TV and Southern Utah will also offer live stats.
THREES FOR THE DISEASE
In conjunction with Health Net, Inc., the Sacramento State women's basketball team has brought back its Threes for the Disease campaign for a second season in support of ALS research and awareness. With the help of sponsor Health Net, Inc., every made three-pointer the women's basketball team has this year will once again be worth a $10 donation to the ALS Association, Greater Sacramento Chapter.
"ALS is an insidious disease that will only be solved with community partnerships such as this one with Health Net and Sacramento State," said Amy Sugimoto, executive director of the ALS Association, Greater Sacramento Chapter. "We are immensely grateful for their commitment to helping those battling ALS." A banner on the wall inside The Nest will track how many three-pointers the Hornets have made this season and members of the Sacramento State cheer team will update the total during games. So far the Hornets have hit 66 three-pointers.
MORENO'S RUNNER STUNS UC DAVIS
Alle Morneo hit a runner with just one second left on the clock to help the Hornets defeat rival UC Davis, 66-65, in overtime on Dec. 30. Moreno was just 2-of-17 from the floor before taking a pass at the top of the key with only a few seconds left and driving left into the middle of the lane. Before a pair of post defenders were able to crash inside, Moreno snuck a runner through the traffic. The ball barely rose over the front of the rim before it fell through the net.
KUHNS EARNS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sacramento State's and North Dakota's Madi Buck were been named the Big Sky Conference Women's Basketball Co-Players of the Week, the league announced on Dec. 31. Kuhns has been named Big Sky Player of the Week four times in her career. She is the second to earn the honor this season, as junior Se'nyce Parrish won after scoring 39 points in an overtime win at Oregon State. Hornets earned the award three times last season. Kuhns, a senior from Salem, Ore., tallied 20 points and 15 boards to push Sacramento State past rival UC Davis, 66-65, in overtime on Sunday afternoon. With the Hornets down three to the Aggies and under a minute left in the game, Kuhns grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed three-pointer and, as she was fouled, muscled in a layup. She sank the ensuing game-tying free throw to tie it up at 57-57 and force overtime.
KUHNS MATCHES CAREER STEALS RECORD
Somewhat overshadowed in her outstanding 20 point, 15 rebound performance in the Hornets' thrilling overtime win versus rival UC Davis on Dec. 30, were ' two steals. The pair of thefts brought her into a tie with Kristy Ryan (1990-94) for a school record 179 career steals. Kuhns also owns the school record for career rebounds.
HISTORY VERSUS SOUTHERN UTAH
Saturday's meeting will be a rekindling of an old American West Conference rivalry. The Hornets were members of the AWC for two seasons (1994-95, 1995-96) before joining the Big Sky Conference in 1996-97. In those two AWC seasons, the Hornets and Thunderbirds met five times - twice each year in the regular season and twice in the second round of the America West Tournament. Sacramento State's season was ended by the Thunderbirds, 89-58, in the 1994-95 AWC Tournament and the Hornets were also eliminated by Southern Utah, 87-54, from the 1995-96 AWC Tournament. Sacramento State and Southern Utah also met frequently while the Hornets were independent from the 1985-86 season to the 1993-94 campaign. The two teams last met during the 2005-06 season when the Hornets won, 68-67 in overtime, led by current Sacramento State assistant coach 's 13 rebounds.
KUHNS REACHES 1,000 CAREER REBOUNDS
Kylie Kuhns became just the fifth player in Big Sky Conference history to reach 1,000 career rebounds in the Hornets' Dec. 22 game at Montana. Kuhns' fourth rebound in the game gave the Salem, Ore., native 1,000 career boards. The senior had 13 total versus the Lady Griz and now has 1,024 rebounds in her stellar career. The Big Sky record is 1,174, set by Idaho State's Natalie Doma in 2008, and Kuhns needs 150 more boards to match it. Kuhns broke the previous school record of 931 rebounds earlier this season against Utah Valley on Nov. 20.
KRITSCHER A ONE WOMAN SWAT TEAM
Senior has been a menace on defense this season and the forward leads the NCAA by averaging 4.5 blocks per game. Kritscher tallied a career-high eight blocks at Eastern Illinois on Dec. 7, and had six rejections in the previous contest at SIUEon Dec. 5. She also tallied six blocks, including three on one possession, against UC Davis on Dec. 30. Kritscher has posted at least three blocks in all but two games this season. She had 43 blocked shots last season but already has 50 this year. Heidi Carroll (1985-86) owns the Sacramento State single-season record for blocked shots with 83.
KUHNS A DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Kylie Kuhns recorded the 42nd double-double of her career and sixth this season against UC Davis on Dec. 30. Kuhns is averaging 13.2 points and a Big Sky Conference-best 12.0 rebounds per game this year. She ranked No. 3 in the NCAA as a junior last season with 21 double-doubles. Kuhns paced the Big Sky with 13 double-doubles as a sophomore and posted two in her freshman campaign. Last season Kuhns had a double-double in all but 10 games and posted a season-long streak of 13 straight games from Nov. 17 to Dec. 31.
Sacramento State is second in the Big Sky in scoring this year (behind only Southern Utah), averaging 69.2 points per game, which is actually a bit down by the Hornets' lofty scoring standards. The Hornets ranked No. 1 in the Big Sky in scoring in each of head coach 's first three seasons. Last year the Hornets ranked No. 28 in the NCAA averaging 71.7 points per game. Before that, Sacramento State averaged 70.2 points per game during the 2010-11 season and put up a whopping 79.1 points per game in 2009-10, which ranked No. 6 in the nation.
This season the Hornets lead the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots at 6.9 per game, which ranks No. 3 in the NCAA. The big reason why is , who leads the nation with 4.5 blocks per game. Sacramento State checks in at No. 1 in the Big Sky in steals as well, at 11.5 per game. The trio of (2.5, 4th) plus (2.0, 7th) and Se'nyce Parrish (2.0, 7th) all rank individually in the top 10. Sacramento State set new program bests in both steals and blocked shots last season. The Hornets tallied 401 steals and ranked No. 6 in the NCAA at 12.9 per game. They also recorded 147 total blocks and ranked No. 40 in the nation at 4.7 per game.
KUHNS SETS SCHOOL REBOUNDS RECORD
Kylie Kuhns grabbed 12 rebounds against Utah Valley on Nov. 20, but it was her 10th, an offensive board with 14:39 remaining in the second half, that pushed her to the top of the record books and past Heidi Carroll, who set the previous record of 931 rebounds in 1986. Kuhns grabbed 211 rebounds as a freshman, 321 as a sophomore and 360 last season as a junior. The senior has 117 thus far.
Senior forward will likely make her 69th consecutive start and the 72nd start of her career overall on Saturday at Southern Utah. Both marks are team-highs. Kuhns made three scattered starts as a freshman but has started every contest since the beginning of her sophomore season. Sophomore point guard has started 42 straight games, every contest since arriving on campus out of Sacramento High School. Junior guard is just behind Hilliard with 41 straight starts.