Women's Hoops' Perfect Home Record on the Line with Two Big SKy Games this Week

Women's Hoops' Perfect Home Record on the Line with Two Big SKy Games this Week

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team will put its perfect 5-0 home record on the line this week when Idaho State and Weber State visit The Nest for a pair of Big Sky Conference games.

The Hornets (8-6, 3-2 Big Sky) will meet the Bengals (8-7, 3-3) at 7 p.m. on Thursday before playing the Wildcats (0-15, 0-6) at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

After two wins last weekend, the Hornets are now tied for third in the Big Sky Conference standings with Southern Utah and Northern Colorado. Idaho State is tied for sixth while Weber State is in last at 11th.

* Full set of PDF game notes available via the link above the photo

Record: 8-7, 3-3 Big Sky (T-6th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 2-31
Last Meeting: L, 70-57 (March 9, 2012)
Notable: Ashleigh Vella and Lindsey Reed each score a team-best 11.3 points per game. Vella also leads the team in rebounding at 6.3 per game. Idaho State has won two straight.

Record: 0-15, 0-6 Big Sky (11th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 8-24
Last Meeting: W, 83-68 (Jan. 26, 2012)
Notable: The Hornets have defeated Weber State three-straight times dating back to the 2010-11 regular season finale. This season, the winless Wildcats feature nine freshmen on the roster.

Eastern Washington - vs. North Dakota, vs. Northern Colorado, at Portland State
Idaho State - at Sacramento State, at Northern Arizona
Montana - vs. Montana State, at Southern Utah
Montana State. - at Southern Utah, at Montana
Northern Arizona - vs. Weber State, vs. Idaho State
Northern Colorado - at Portland State, at Eastern Washington
North Dakota - at Eastern Washington, at Portland State
Portland State - vs. Northern Colorado, North Dakota, vs. Eastern Washington
Southern Utah - vs. Montana State, vs. Montana
Weber State - at Northern Arizona, at Sacramento State

All conference games can be viewed on Big Sky TV plus radio and live stats available via the schedule link to the left.

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 91 three-pointers.

Sacramento State is 5-0 at home at The Nest this season after defeating both Portland State and Eastern Washington last weekend. The Hornets also have home wins over Utah Valley, San Francisco and rival UC Davis. Dating back to last season, the Hornets have won seven straight home games. Sacramento State is averaging 74.8 points at home compared to 69.3 on the road, a difference of 5.5 points per game. More drastic is the Hornets' defensive effort inside The Nest. Opponents are scoring 66.8 points in Hornet home games while averaging 76.0 in road games, a whopping 9.2 points per game difference. Oddly, the Hornets are shooting a better percentage from the field, from 3-point range and from the free throw line on the road.

According to WBBState.com, Sacramento State is fifth in the NCAA in possessions per 40 minutes. The Hornets average 81.8 possessions per 40 minutes, behind Troy (87.2), San Jose State (85.7), Illinois (82.4) and Oregon (82.0). Possessions are calculated as FGA-OReb+TO+(0.42xFTA).

Senior Natasha Torgerson had a memorable weekend. On Jan. 10 versus Portland State, Torgerson scored 11 straight Sacramento State points in the first half and finished with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. She tallied 11 points against Eastern Washington on Jan. 12 in the very next game and rattled off seven straight points for the Hornets in the first half.

For her efforts over the weekend against Portland State and Eastern Washington, sophomore Fantasia Hilliard was named Big Sky Conference player of the week. Against the Eagles on Jan. 12, the point guard scored a career-best 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting and was a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 5-of-5 at the free throw line. She also tallied seven assists. On Jan. 10 versus Portland State, Hilliard had 12 points and nine assists. She has scored 10+ points in all five league games. This is the third time the Hornets have won the award this season, as Se'nyce Parrish and Kylie Kuhns were also honored.

Kylie Kuhns is first in the Big Sky Conference and sixth in the nation this season, averaging 11.9 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 59 career games and 10 of 14 games this season.

Against Portland State on Jan. 10, Kylie Kuhns became just the third player in school history to reach 500 career made field goals. The Salem, Ore., native is 503-of-1053 for her career, a 47.8 shooting percentage.

Last year the Hornets went 1-2 against Idaho State and 2-0 versus Weber State. Sacramento State split the regular season series with Idaho State but lost, 70-57, to the No. 1 seed and host Bengals in the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament. The loss snapped the Hornets' five-game winning streak, which included their regular season win over ISU. In that game, a 73-65 home win, Alle Moreno scored a game-high 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Moreno averaged a team-best 13.7 points in three meetings against Idaho State last season. Moreno was equally successful against Weber State. She averaged a team-best 21.0 points per game against the Wildcats as the Hornets won both regular season meetings last year. Moreno scored 26 points and set a conference-game school record with eight 3-pointers in the road game and added 16 points in the home date.

Sacramento State is once again at the top of the Big Sky in scoring this year, averaging 71.3 points per game. That mark ranks 40th in the nation. The Hornets were second, behind Southern Utah, entering last weekend before scoring 81 points against Portland State and a season-best 85 points versus Eastern Washington. 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.

Sacramento State leads the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots and steals per game this year. The Hornets are averaging 6.6 blocks per game, which ranks No. 2 in the NCAA. The big reason why is Megan Kritscher, who is second in the nation with 4.0 blocks per game. With 12.4 steals per game, Sacramento State checks in at No. 1 in the Big Sky and No. 24 in the NCAA. The trio of Fantasia Hilliard (2.5, 4th) plus Se'nyce Parrish (2.4, 5th) and Alle Moreno (2.2, 6th) all rank individually in the top 10 in the Big Sky. 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 Megan Kritscher has been a menace on defense this season and the forward is second in the NCAA in blocked shots, averaging 4.0 per game. Kritscher tallied a career-high eight blocks at Eastern Illinois on Dec. 7, and had six rejections in the previous contest at SIUE on Dec. 5. She also tallied six blocks, including three on one possession, against UC Davis on Dec. 30. Last weekend versus PSU and EWU, she had three blocks in each game. Kritscher has posted at least three blocks in all but three games this season. She had 43 blocked shots last season but already has 56 this year and is now only one away from 100 in her career. Heidi Carroll (1985-86) owns the Sacramento State single-season record for blocked shots with 83.

While missing on double-doubles in each game last weekend versus PSU and EWU, Kylie Kuhns has 43 career double-doubles and seven this season. Kuhns is averaging 12.0 points and a Big Sky Conference-best 11.9 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.