Women's Hoops Opens Four-Game Homestand Versus Portland State, Eastern Washington

Women's Hoops Opens Four-Game Homestand Versus Portland State, Eastern Washington

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team opens up a four-game homestand this weekend at The Nest with Big Sky Conference contests against Portland State and Eastern Washington.

The Hornets (6-6, 1-2 Big Sky) will meet the Vikings (7-6, 1-3) at 7 p.m. on Thursday before playing the Eagles at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Sacramento State is coming of a loss at Southern Utah while Portland State was swept in a pair of home games versus Montana and Montana State last weekend. Eastern Washington had a five-game winning streak snapped by Montana State at home last Saturday.

* Full version of PDF game notes are available via the link above the photo.

Record: 7-6, 1-3 Big Sky (T-9th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 10-24
Last Meeting: W, 84-82 (Feb. 25, 2012)
Notable: Courtney VanBrocklin is second in the Big Sky in scoring at 15.9 per game while Angela Misa is second in rebs at 10.5 per game. PSU lost to both Montana schools last weekend.

Record: 7-6, 3-1 Big Sky (T-2nd)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 12-24
Last Meeting: W, 71-61 (March 8, 2012)
Notable: Lexie Nelson leads the Eagles and ranks No. 3 in the Big Sky in scoring at 14.8 points per game. EWU split at home against the Montana schools last weekend.

Eastern Wash. - at Northern Arizona, at Sac State
Idaho State - vs. Southern Utah, at Weber State
Montana - vs. North Dakota, vs. Northern Colo.
Montana St. - vs. Northern Colo., vs. North Dakota
Northern Ariz. - vs. Eastern Wash., vs. Portland St.
Northern Colo. - at Montana State, at Montana
North Dakota - at Montana, at Montana State
Portland State - at Sac State, at Northern Arizona
Southern Utah - at Idaho State, at Weber State
Weber State - at Northern Colo., at North Dakota

All conference games can be viewed on Big Sky TV plus radio and live stats are on hornetsports.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 74 three-pointers.

With three steals at Southern Utah on Jan. 5, senior Kylie Kuhns set the school record for career steals with 182. She broke Kristy Ryan's (1990-94) mark of 179 career steals. Kuhns had moved into a tie for the record with two steals against UC Davis on Dec. 30. Kuhns also owns the school record for career rebounds.

Kylie Kuhns is first in the Big Sky Conference and eighth in the nation this season, averaging 11.9 rebounds per game. Kuhns checked in at No. 6 in the NCAA last season with 11.6 rebounds per game and was No. 12 in the NCAA as sophomore at 11.0 rebounds per game.

Last year the Hornets went 2-0 versus Portland State and 1-2 against Eastern Washington. The two late season wins over Portland State were crucial as the Hornets and Vikings were battling for the final spot in the Big Sky Conference Tournament. The Hornets moved on after winning their last four conference games, including both PSU wins, and met Eastern Washington in the first round. The Hornets lost to the Eagles in both regular season games but came out on top, 71-61, in Big Sky Tournament quarterfinals. The victory was the Hornets' first ever win at the Big Sky Tournament. Alle Moreno averaged 17 points in two games against PSU as well as 17 points in three games versus Eastern Washington. Moreno went 9-of-21 (.429) from three against the Eagles.

Sacramento State is second in the Big Sky in scoring this year (behind Southern Utah), averaging 69.3 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.

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. 4 in the NCAA. The big reason why is Megan Kritscher, who is second in the nation with 4.2 blocks per game. Sacramento State checks in at No. 1 in the Big Sky in steals as well, at 11.8 per game. The trio of Fantasia Hilliard (2.7, 4th) plus Se'nyce Parrish (2.0, 6th) and Alle Moreno (2.0, 10th) 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.

Senior Megan Kritscher has been a menace on defense this season and the forward is second in the NCAA in blocked shots, averaging 4.2 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 three games this season but is coming off her first shutout of the season with no blocks at Southern Utah on Jan. 5. She had 43 blocked shots last season but already has 50 this year and is seven away from 100 in her career. Heidi Carroll (1985-86) owns the Sacramento State single-season record for blocked shots with 83.

Kylie Kuhns recorded the 43rd double-double of her career, seventh this season and third straight at Southern Utah on Jan. 5. Kuhns is averaging 13.2 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.

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 1,035 rebounds in her stellar career. The Big Sky record is 1,174, set by Idaho State's Natalie Doma in 2008, and Kuhns needs 139 more boards to match it.

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 143 thus far.

Senior forward Kylie Kuhns will likely make her 70th consecutive start and the 73rd start of her career overall on Thursday against Portland State. 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 Fantasia Hilliard has started 43 straight games, every contest since arriving on campus out of Sacramento HS. Junior guard Alle Moreno is just behind Hilliard with 42 straight starts.