Women's Basketball Hosts Rival UC Davis in Causeway Cup on Sunday

Women's Basketball Hosts Rival UC Davis in Causeway Cup on Sunday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team will close out the calendar year as well as the non-conference portion of its schedule when the Hornets welcome rival UC Davis to The Nest at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Hornets (5-5, 1-1 Big Sky Conference) are coming off a split at the Montana schools in their Big Sky opening weekend while the Aggies (5-4) have won three straight games. UC Davis has also won three straight against the Hornets.

Record: 5-5, 1-1 Big Sky Conference (5th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 2-8
Last Meeting: L, 68-57 (Dec. 4, 2011)
Notable: The Hornets' game versus UC Davis is their last non-conference game of the season. The contest is worth 10 points in the Causeway Cup standings, which UC Davis currently leads.

Record: 5-4, 0-0 Big West Conference
Notable: UC Davis will play host to Washington on Friday night before visiting The Nest. Head coach Jennifer Gross (2nd season) has led the Aggies to three straight wins over Santa Clara, USC and CSU Bakersfield. Sydnee Fipps is scoring a team-high 18.7 points per game.

For all home games this season, Sacramento State fans can watch online via Big Sky TV, listen to an online radio broadcast or follow along via live stats.

Eastern Washington - vs. Warner Pacific
Idaho State - at Arizona State
Montana - none
Montana State - vs. MSU Billings
Northern Arizona - none
Northern Colorado - vs. Johnson & Wales
North Dakota - at Utah
Portland State - at Portland
Southern Utah - vs. Utah Valley
Weber State - none

The Sacramento State and UC Davis athletics departments have partnered with ScholarShare to sponsor the Causeway Cup. Currently in its ninth season, the Causeway Cup is the annual all-sports competition between the Hornets and Aggies. Each school has won the Cup four times. Last season, Sacramento State overcame a 35-5 deficit to win 52.5-47.5.

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 64 three-pointers.

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 1,009 rebounds in her stellar career. The Big Sky record is 1,174, set by Idaho State's Natalie Doma in 2008, and Kuhns needs 165 more boards to match it. Kuhns broke the previous school record of 931 rebounds earlier this season against Utah Valley on Nov. 20.

Senior Megan Kritscher has been a menace on defense this season as the forward leads the NCAA with 44 blocked shots. Kritscher tallied a career-high eight blocks at Eastern Illinois on Dec. 7, and had six rejections in the previous contest at SIU-Edwardsville on Dec. 5. Kritscher has posted at least three blocks in all but two games this season. She had 43 blocked shots last season but already has 44 rejections this year.

UC Davis' hot three-point shooting thwarted a second half surge by the Hornets and the Sacramento State women's basketball team lost, 68-57, on Dec. 4, 2011 at The Pavilion. After trailing, 29-20 at halftime, the Hornets surged back to tie the game twice in the second half. Sadie Clements hit a long jumper to even the score, 44-44, and the Hornets were down just three, 49-46, minutes later when UC Davis began a 16-2 run. The Aggies connected on four three-pointers in that stretch to take their largest lead of the game at 17 points with 3:35 left. Kasey Riecks had a team-high 14 points for the Aggies while Sydnee Fipps added 13 off the bench. Despite Kylie Kuhns' 15 points and 13 rebounds, the loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Hornets. This year the Aggies bring a three-game winning streak into The Nest.

Sacramento State is third in the Big Sky Conference and No. 37 in the NCAA, averaging 15.3 assists per game. Point guard Fantasia Hilliard leads the conference, individually, and ranks No. 8 in the NCAA with 6.2 assist per game this year. Sacramento State ranked No. 5 in the NCAA, averaging 17.7 assists per game last season. Hilliard led the team and 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.

Kylie Kuhns recorded the 41st double-double of her career and fifth this season at Montana on Dec. 22. Kuhns is averaging 12.5 points and a Big Sky Conference-best 11.7 rebounds per game this year. She ranked No. 3 in the NCAA as a junior last season with 21 double-doubles. 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.

Sacramento State is second in the Big Sky in scoring this year, averaging 69.5 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 Jamie Craighead'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 6.5 per game, which ranks No. 3 in the NCAA. The big reason why is Megan Kritscher, who leads the nation with 4.4 blocks per game. Sacramento State checks in at No. 2 in the Big Sky in steals at 10.9 per game while both Fantasia Hilliard (2.5, 4th) and Alle Moreno (2.1, 7th) rank individually in the top 10. 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 total blocks and ranked No. 40 in the nation at 4.7 per game.

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.

After setting the career rebounds record, the all-time steals mark is the next one in Kylie Kuhns' sights. The senior has 177 career steals and is just two away from tying Kristy Ryan's record of 179, set in 1994.

Senior forward Kylie Kuhns will likely make her 67th consecutive start on Thursday at Montana State and the 70th 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 39 straight games, every contest since arriving on campus out of Sacramento High School. Junior guard Alle Moreno is just behind Hilliard with 38 straight starts.