Women's Basketball Visits NAU on Saturday

Women's Basketball Visits NAU on Saturday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team will visit Northern Arizona on Saturday for a lone Big Sky Conference game this weekend.

The Hornets and Lumberjacks will meet at 5:35 p.m. PT in Flagstaff, Ariz. With five games left in the regular season, Sacramento State is currently tied for fourth in the Big Sky standings. The top-7 teams in the standings advance to the conference tournament.

Record: 14-10, 9-6 Big Sky (T-4th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 8-28
Last Meeting: W, 73-67 (Jan. 31, 2012)
Notable: The Hornets won the first meeting with Northern Arizona this season, 73-67, at home. Sacramento State had five players score in double-figures in a balanced attack. Kylie Kuhs pulled down team-high 15 rebounds and leads the Big Sky with 10.5 per game.

Record: 7-17, 6-9 Big Sky (T-7th)
Notable: Northern Arizona defeat North Dakota in overtime in its last game, 64-60, and have won three of its last five games since falling to the Hornets on Jan. 31. Guard Amy Patton leads the Big Sky in scoring at 18.5 points per game and is third in rebounds per game at 8.2. Patton scored 14 in the first meeting with the Hornets while grabbing a season-best 18 boards.

All league games can be viewed on Big Sky TV plus live stats and live audio are available online at www.nauathletics.com

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., each three-pointer the women's basketball team makes 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 158 three-pointers.

Megan Kritscher now has 95 blocked shots this season and is just six blocks away from breaking the Big Sky Conference single-season record of 100, set by EWU's Brenda Souther during the 1983-84 season. Kritscher swatted six shots against Eastern Washington on Feb. 7 but needed only five entering the game to break Heidi Carroll's single-season program record of 83 blocks. Kritscher has tallied 5+ blocks 11 times this year, with a season-high 8 at Eastern Illinois on Dec. 7. She ranks No. 2 in the NCAA, averaging 4.0 per game.

Kylie Kuhns has 1,145 rebounds in her stellar career, the second most in league and most in program history. The Big Sky record is 1,174, set by Idaho State's Natalie Doma in 2008, and Kuhns needs just 30 more boards to break it. 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. Kuhns had 20 total last weekend and posted her 64th career 10+ rebound game in a loss against Northern Colorado on Saturday.

Sacramento State defeated Northern Arizona, 73-67, on Jan. 31 at The Nest. Sacramento State was in charge early and led by as much as 19 points in the first half before taking a 38-26 lead into halftime. Northern Arizona charged back in the second half and eventually took its first and only lead of the game, 55-54, with 11:26 remaining in the game. Alle Moreno hit a big 3-pointer to put the Hornets back up by five at 62-57 with 7:53 left on the clock and the Hornets never led by less than three points for the rest of the game. Up by three with 23 seconds left, Fantasia Hilliard hit a pair of clutch free throws to ice the game. Despite shooting just 25.7 percent in the second half, the Hornets were able to hold off the Lumberjacks by knocking down 14 free throws in the period. It was an incredibly balanced effort for the Hornets, as five players scored either 11 or 12 points. Megan Kritscher, Se'nyce Parrish and Mallorie Franco each tied for the team lead with 12 points while Hilliard and Moreno both finished with 11. Kylie Kuhns, the Big Sky leader in rebounds per game, pulled down a team-high 15 boards to pace the Hornets on the glass. Amy Patton, the Big Sky leader in points per game at 19.7 entering Thursday night's contest, finished with 14 points but grabbed a whopping 18 rebounds. Amanda Frost led the Lumberjacks with a game-high 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting.

According to WBBState.com, Sacramento State ranks third in the NCAA and first in the Big Sky for possessions per 40 minutes. The Hornets average 81.3 possessions per 40 minutes. Only San Jose State (85.3) and Troy (83.9) rank ahead of Sacramento State.

Kylie Kuhns ranks first in the Big Sky Conference and No. 26 in the nation this season, averaging 10.5 rebounds per game. Kuhns checked in at No. 6 in the nation last season with 11.6 rebounds per game and was No. 12 as a sophomore at 11.0 boards per game. Kuhns has reached 10+ rebounds in 64 career games and 15 of 24 games this season. Kuhns has grabbed at least one rebound in every single game of her career.

Kylie Kuhns has 47 career double-doubles and 11 this season. While she missed on one versus North Dakota on Thursday (20 points, 8 rebounds), she posted 19 points and 12 boards against Northern Colorado on Saturday. She ranked No. 3 in the NCAA and led the league 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.

Sacramento State is once again at the top of the Big Sky in scoring this year, averaging 73.0 points per game. That total ranks No. 18 in the NCAA. After starting relatively slow by their standards, the Hornets have scored 75+ points in seven of their last 12 games, including a season-high 103 points against Weber State on Jan. 19 and 93 in a win over Southern Utah on Feb. 2. The Hornets ranked No. 1 in the Big Sky in scoring in each of head coach Jamie Craighead's first three seasons. Last year the Hornets ranked No. 28 in the NCAA averaging 71.7 points per game. Before that, the Hornets 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.

Sacramento State leads the Big Sky and ranks No. 10 in the NCAA, averaging 17.3 assists per game. Point guard Fantasia Hilliard leads the conference, individually, and ranks No. 14 in the NCAA with 6.5 assists per game this year. Sacramento State ranked No. 5 in the NCAA, averaging 17.7 assists per game last season. Hilliard ranked No. 2 in the Big Sky and No. 37 in the NCAA with 4.8 assists per game and also became the fifth player in school history to reach 150 assists in a single season. Hilliard has 155 assists thus far in 2012-13 and 305 in her career, the fourth most in program history.

Sacramento State leads the Big Sky in blocked shots and steals per game this year. The Hornets are averaging 6.4 blocks per game, which ranks No. 3 in the NCAA. The big reason why is Megan Kritscher, who is second in the nation with 4.0 blocks per game. At 12.3 steals per game, Sacramento State checks in at No. 1 in the Big Sky and No. 14 in the NCAA. The trio of  Fantasia Hilliard (2.4, T-3rd), Se'nyce Parrish (2.3, 5th) and Alle Moreno (2.1, T-6th) all rank in the top-10 individually in the Big Sky in steals per game. 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.

Senior Kylie Kuhns will likely make her 85th consecutive start and the 88th overall on Saturday night at Northern Arizona. 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 Fantasia Hilliard has started 55 straight games, every contest since arriving on campus. Junior Alle Moreno is just behind with 54 straight starts. Se'nyce Parrish is now a fixture in the lineup and has made 22 consecutive starts this season.

Sacramento State eclipsed the century mark for the ninth time in school history in a 103-60 victory over Weber State on Jan. 19. It was the Hornets' third most points scored under head coach Jamie Craighead, the fifth most overall in school history and the fourth most in regulation. The 103-point output is tied for the 18th most scored in a single game by any team in the NCAA this season. Including the Hornets, NCAA teams have reached 100 points just 43 times so far during the 2012-13 campaign. The 43-point victory was Sacramento State's largest ever against a Div. I opponent and the third largest since the Hornets themselves moved into Div. I prior to the 1991-92 season, but did not crack the all-time top-10 versus all foes.