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Women's Basketball

 

Women's Hoops Trips to Illinios this Week

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Fresh off an overtime victory at Oregon State and riding a four-game winning streak, the Sacramento State women's basketball team will visit a pair of Illinois schools this week.

The Hornets (4-2) will visit Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (4-4) at 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday before playing at Eastern Illinois (3-3) at 5 p.m. PT on Friday.

Sacramento State defeated both the Cougars and Panthers last season when the teams made a trip to The Golden State.

* For a full verison of the PDF game notes, click the link above the photo.

SIU-EDWARDSVILLE BREAKDOWN
Record: 4-4, 0-0 Ohio Valley Conference
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 80-66 (Nov. 23, 2011)
Notable: SIUE is 1-1 at home with a win over Western Illinois and a loss to Purdue. Center Raven Berry leads the Cougars with 12.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

EASTERN ILLINOIS BREAKDOWN
Record: 3-3, 0-0 Ohio Valley Conference
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 89-85 (Nov. 26, 2011)
Notable: EIU is 2-1 at home with wins over San Jose State and IUPUI. The Panthers have two scorers averaging double digits in Mariah King (14.5) and Ta'Kenya Nixon (13.2).

THIS WEEK IN THE BIG SKY
Eastern Washington - at Gonzaga, at Boise State
Idaho State - Utah Valley
Montana - Wyoming
Montana State - Tennessee State, Wyoming
Northern Arizona - None
Northern Colorado - at Wichita State
North Dakota - Air Force, Drake
Portland State - Gonzaga, at Seattle U
Southern Utah - at Utah Valley, at San Jose State
Weber State - at Utah Valley

QUALITY START
The Hornets' 4-2 start to the season is their best since the 1993-94 season. Sacramento State eventually went 7-3 that year before finishing 14-12. That was the Hornets' only other 4-2 start in the program's Div. I era (since 1991-92). In head coach Jamie Craighead's first three seasons, the team started 1-4 in 2009-10, 1-4 in 2010-11 and 2-3 in 2011-12.

HORNETS VERSUS THE PAC-12
As of Dec. 3, Sacramento State is the only university in the nation with wins over a Pac-12 school in football, men's basketball and women's basketball. Football won, 30-28, at Colorado, men's basketball won 74-71 at Utah while women's basketball is coming off an 80-71 overtime win at Oregon State. In addition to other Pac-12 teams once conference play starts, four other schools could achieve the feat as well. Nevada defeated Cal in football and plays Washington and Oregon in men's basketball plus Oregon in women's basketball. Fresno State defeated Colorado in football and Washington State in women's basketball while the Bulldogs will play Washington State, Colorado and UCLA in men's basketball. Colorado State knocked off Colorado in football, Washington in men's basketball and plays Colorado in women's basketball. BYU also has a chance, since the Cougars defeated Washington State in football, Arizona in women's basketball and have a game versus Utah upcoming in men's hoops.

PARRISH'S CAREER NIGHT
Se'nyce Parrish was named Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after leading the Hornets with a whopping 39 points in their overtime win at Oregon State. Parrish, a junior from Clovis, Calif., was just two points shy of tying the Big Sky single-game record in the Hornets' 80-71 overtime victory against the Beavers on Saturday. Parrish tied the school and Big Sky record with nine three-pointers made against the Beavers. She made three consecutive three-pointers over the final 18 seconds of regulation and the first two minutes of OT. In the win on Wednesday against San Francisco, Parrish recorded three steals, three assists, five rebounds and had 11 points. In two games over the week, Parrish averaged 25 points per game, while shooting 54.8 percent from the floor (17-of-31), including 50 percent (10-of-20) from three-point range, and went 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. She now ranks eighth in the Big Sky at 13.2 points per game, while her 36.1 three-point percentage ranks fourth. She entered the game with a career-high of 15 points.

KUHNS ALSO SHINES AGAINST OSU
While Se'nyce Parrish's 39 points stole the headlines, Kylie Kuhns was also impressive against Oregon State. Depsite facing taller post players, Kuhns grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds. She had 18 against San Francisco earlier in the week and her 13.3 rebounds per game average now ranks No. 6 in the nation.

CRAIGHEAD VERSUS HER OLD RIVALS
Sacramento State has two wins over Pac-12 foes since moving to Div. I for the 1991-92 season, and both have been under Craighead's watch. The Hornets defeated Washington, 74-71, during the 2009-10 season, Craighead's first as head coach, and knocked off Oregon State last weekend. Craighead is a 2002 graduate of the University of Oregon, where the Huskies and Beavers were her biggest rivals as a standout for the Ducks.

TENACIOUS D
Sacramento State set new program bests in both steals and blocked shots last season. The Hornets made 401 steals and ranked No. 6 in the NCAA at 12.9 per game. They also tallied 147 blocks and ranked No. 40 in the nation at 4.7 per game. This season the Hornets are averaging a Big Sky-best 13.2 steals and also lead the league with seven blocks, which ranks No. 3 in the NCAA. Individually, Megan Kritscher leads the conference and ranks No. 4 in the nation with 4.0 blocks per game while Fantasia Hilliard is second in steals at 3.6 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 80 thus far through six games. With 972 career boards, she is very close to becoming just the fifth player in Big Sky history to reach 1,000 career rebounds and needs 202 more this season to match the league record of 1,174 boards, set by Idaho State's Natalie Doma in 2008.

STEALS RECORD ALSO IN REACH
After setting the career rebounds record, the all-time steals mark is the next one in Kylie Kuhns' sights. The senior is just seven steals away from tying Kristy Ryan's record of 179 career steals, set in 1994.

TONS OF TURNOVERS
Sacramento State has forced 90 turnovers during its current four-game winning streak, an average of 22.5 per game, including 34 versus San Francisco on Nov. 28. The Hornets have shot just 35.9 percent in that same four-game stretch, but have used their full-court press and tight half-court defense to create 30 more shots than their opponents. By comparison, the Hornets had one of their most efficient nights against Utah Valley on Nov. 20. Sacramento State only turned the ball over eight times in a win versus the Wolverines. It was the Hornets' fewest number of turnovers in a game since head coach Jamie Craighead took over prior to the 2009-10 season. Sacramento State averaged 22 turnovers per game in its first three contests of the season but have averaged just 13 turnovers in its last four games.

STARTING STREAKS
Senior forward Kylie Kuhns will likely make her 65th consecutive start on Saturday against Oregon State and the 68th start of her career, both 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 Fantasia Hilliard has started 37 straight games, every contest since arriving on campus out of Sacramento High School. Junior guard Alle Moreno is just behind Hilliard with 36 straight starts.

MORENO'S SECOND HALF HEROICS
Alle Moreno used a big second-half to finish with a game-high 24 points against Utah Valley on Nov. 20. She went 2-of-9 from the field, including 0-of-5 from long range, in the first half but turned it on in the second half. She went 6-of-12 overall and 4-of-9 from three-point range after halftime. Moreno, who scored 11 straight points over a two minute stretch to put the Hornets up six with 7:53 left in the game, tallied 20 of her 24 points in the second half.

A HELPING HAND
Sacramento State ranked No. 5 in the NCAA averaging 17.7 assists per game last season and is averaging 15.3 helpers this year. Freshman Fantasia Hilliard led the team and ranked No. 2 in the Big Sky and No. 37 in the NCAA with 4.8 assists per game last year and also became the fifth player in school history to reach 150 assists in a single season. Hilliard is currently leading the Big Sky Conference in assists this season, averaging 6.6 per game. Hilliard set a new career-high with 11 assists in a win at CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 16.

KUHNS A DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Kylie Kuhns ranked No. 3 in the NCAA as a junior last season with 21 double-doubles. Kuhns has 39 now in her career after she tallied her third of the season versus San Francisco on Nov. 28. Kuhns is averaging 12.0 points and 13.3 rebounds per game this year. She 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 from Nov. 17 to Dec. 31. Kuhns has scored 10+ points in 61 of 96 career games and tallied 10+ rebounds in 53 career games.

SCORING OFFENSE
Sacramento State is once again leading the conference in scoring this year, averaging 74.5 points per game. 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 and are currently ranked No. 30 in the nation. 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.

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