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Women's Hoops Visits North Dakota, Northern Colorado this Weekend

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After a successful four-game homestand, the Sacramento State women's basketball team will hit the road for a pair of Big Sky Conference games this week at North Dakota and Northern Colorado.

The Hornets (9-7, 4-3 Big Sky) will meet North Dakota (7-10, 2-6) at 5 p.m. PT on Thursday before playing Northern Colorado (7-9, 4-3) at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday.

Sacramento State and Northern Colorado are currently tied for fifth in the Big Sky Conference standings, behind Montana State, Montana, Eastern Washington and Idaho State. The Hornets handed MSU its only loss of the season and defeated EWU at home on Jan. 12 but lost at Montana and at home to ISU.

North Dakota is in 10th place in the 11-team Big Sky, ahead of only winless Weber State. The Hornets have never met the conference newcomers.

NORTH DAKOTA BREAKDOWN
Record: 7-10, 2-6 Big Sky (10th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: N/A
Last Meeting: First ever meeting
Notable: North Dakota is on a four-game losing streak. UND is 0-5 on the road in Big Sky play but is 2-1 at home, with wins over Idaho State and Weber State. One of North Dakota's road wins was at Pac-12 member Utah. Madi Buck is scoring a team-high 11.0 points per game with 7.4 rebounds per game.

NORTHERN COLORADO BREAKDOWN
Record: 7-9, 4-3 Big Sky (T-5th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 6-6
Last Meeting:
Notable: UNC has lost three of its last four but all were on the road versus the top-3 teams in the league. The Bears are a perfect 6-0 at home but is 1-9 on the road. D'Shara Strange is averaging 13.1 points and Lauren Oosdyke is just behind at 12.4 points per game.

MULTIMEDIA
All conference games can be viewed on Big Sky TV plus live stats are available on undsports.com for Thursday's game and uncbears.com for Saturday's contest.

THIS WEEK IN THE BIG SKY
Eastern Wash. - vs. Southern Utah
Idaho State - vs. Montana, vs. Montana State
Montana - at Idaho State, at Weber State
Montana State - at Weber State, at Idaho State
Northern Ariz. - at Northern Colo., at North Dakota
Northern Colo. - vs. Northern Ariz., vs. Sac State
North Dakota - vs. Sac State, vs. Northern Ariz.
Portland State - vs. Southern Utah
Southern Utah - at Eastern Wash., at Portland State
Weber State - vs. Montana State, vs. Montana

THREES FOR THE DISEASE
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 102 three-pointers.

THE CENTURY MARK
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 was the 16th most scored in a single game by any team in the NCAA this season, and the 12th most against a Div. I opponent. Including the Hornets, NCAA teams have reached 100 points just 40 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.

POSSESSIONS PER 40 MINUTES
According to WBBState.com, Sacramento State is fourth in the NCAA in possessions per 40 minutes. The Hornets average 81.6 possessions per 40 minutes. Sacramento State registered 92 possessions in its win over Weber State on Jan. 19, the 46th most in a Div. I game this season. Possessions are calculated as FGA-OReb+TO+(0.42xFTA).

KUHNS IN REBOUND RANKINGS
Kylie Kuhns ranks first in the Big Sky Conference and No. 16 in the nation this season, averaging 11.1 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 16 games this season. The senior played just 19 minutes in a blowout of Weber State on Jan. 19 and grabbed only four boards. It was her lowest output since she also tallied four rebounds against Northern Colorado on Jan. 20, 2011 in her sophomore season.

LAST YEAR VERSUS NORTHERN COLORADO
Sacramento State has never played North Dakota but went 0-2 versus Northern Colorado a season ago. The Hornets lost 68-58 on the road and fell 64-56 at home. Sacramento State shot just 28.9 percent from the field in the road loss and 33.3 percent in the home loss. The Hornets were outrebounded by 17 combined in the two games.

SCORING OFFENSE
Sacramento State is once again at the top of the Big Sky in scoring this year, averaging 72.1 points per game. After starting relatively slow by their standards, the Hornets are averaging 80.3 points per game over their last four contests, including a season-high 103 points against Weber State on Jan. 19. 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.

TENACIOUS D
Sacramento State leads the Big Sky Conference in blocked shots and steals per game this year. The Hornets are averaging 6.8 blocks per game, which ranks No. 2 in the NCAA. The big reason why is Megan Kritscher, who is second in the nation with 4.1 blocks per game. At 12.6 steals per game, Sacramento State checks in at No. 1 in the Big Sky and No. 13 in the NCAA. The trio of Se'nyce Parrish (2.8, 2nd), Fantasia Hilliard (2.2, 6th) and Alle Moreno (2.2, 6th) all rank in the top-10 individually 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.

PROTECT THE NEST
Sacramento State is 6-1 at home in The Nest this season after defeating Portland State, Eastern Washington and Weber State on its recent four-game homestand. Sacramento State suffered its first home loss of the season on Jan. 17 against Idaho State. In non-conference play, the Hornets have home wins over Utah Valley, San Francisco and rival UC Davis. Dating back to last season, the Hornets have won eight of their last nine home games.

KRITSCHER A ONE WOMAN SWAT TEAM
Senior Megan Kritscher has been a menace on defense this season and the forward is second in the NCAA in blocked shots, averaging 4.1 per game. Kritscher tallied a career-high eight blocks at Eastern Illinois on Dec. 7, and has tallied five or more blocks in seven games. Last weekend against Idaho State and Weber State, she tallied nine total blocks. Kritscher has posted at least three blocks in all but three games this season. She had 43 blocked shots last season but already has 65 this year. Heidi Carroll (1985-86) owns Sacramento State's single-season record for blocked shots with 83.

KRITSCHER REACHES 100 CAREER BLOCKS
Megan Kritscher reached 100 career blocks with her first of four blocks against Idaho State on Jan. 17.

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