WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO IMPROVE BIG SKY SEED ON TWO-GAME ROAD TRIP
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With just four games left in the regular season, the Sacramento State women's basketball team will hit the road this weekend for a pair of Big Sky Conference games versus Weber State and Idaho State.
The Hornets (15-10, 10-6 Big Sky) will meet the Wildats (0-25, 0-16) at 7 p.m. PT on Thursday before visiting the Bengals (15-10, 10-6) on Saturday.
Sacramento State locked down a Big Sky Tournament spot with a win last weekend at Northern Arizona and but will look to improve its seed as the season winds down. The Hornets are currently tied with Idaho State for fourth place in the league standings. Since the Bengals won in The Nest earlier this year, the Hornets need to win on the road to avoid the season sweep.
WEBER STATE BREAKDOWN
Record: 0-25, 0-16 Big Sky (11th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 9-24
Last Meeting: W, 103-60 (Jan. 19, 2013)
Notable: The Hornets won the first meeting with Weber State this season, 103-60, at home. It was Sacramento State's highest scoring output of the year. Weber State has not won a Big Sky game since the Wildcats beat the Hornets, 81-68, on Feb. 26, 2011 in Ogden, Utah.
IDAHO STATE BREAKDOWN
Record: 15-10, 10-6 Big Sky (T-4th)
All-Time Div. I (1991-92) Series: 2-32
Last Meeting: L, 62-52 (Jan. 17, 2013)
Notable: Idaho State handed the Hornets their first home loss of the season, 62-52, in the two teams' first meeting this year. Idaho State and Sacramento State are currently tied for fourth in the Big Sky standings. A series sweep would give the Bengals a tiebreaker for tournament seeding.
All league games can be viewed on Big Sky TV plus live stats and live audio are available online at weberstatesports.com and isubengals.com.
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 165 three-pointers.
HORNETS SECURE BIG SKY TOURNEY SPOT
With its 78-68 victory on Saturday at Northern Arizona, Sacramento State secured its sixth trip in program history to the Big Sky Tournament, and the third in four seasons under head coach Jamie Craighead. The Hornets joined the Big Sky for the 1996-97 season. Last year, Sacramento State defeated Eastern Washington, 71-61, in the quarterfinals for the program's first ever Big Sky Tournament victory.
CLOSE TO A HISTORIC SEASON
At 15-10 and 10-6 in Big Sky play, Sacramento State is closing in on the program record for wins in the Div. I era. Since the Hornets moved up for the 1991-92 season, Sacramento State's record for wins is 17, when the Hornets went 17-10 as an independent during the 1992-93 campaign. Sacramento State's overall record for wins is 19, when the Hornets went 19-7 as an independent in 1990-91, their final season of Div. II competition.
KRITSCHER NEARS BIG SKY BLOCKS MARK
Megan Kritscher now has 96 blocked shots this season and is just five blocks away from breaking the Big Sky Conference single-season record of 100, set by EWU's Brenda Souther during the 1983-84 season. Kritscher swatted six shots against Eastern Washington on Feb. 7 but needed only five entering the game to break Heidi Carroll's single-season school record of 83 blocks. Kritscher has tallied 5+ blocks 11 times this year, with a season-high 8 at Eastern Illinois on Dec. 7. She ranks No. 2 in the NCAA, averaging 3.84 per game.
KUHNS NEARS BIG SKY BOARDS RECORD
Kylie Kuhns has 1,158 rebounds in her stellar career, the most in program history and second most in Big Sky history. The Big Sky record is 1,174, set by Idaho State's Natalie Doma in 2008, and Kuhns needs just 17 more boards to break it. 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. Kuhns had 13 last weekend at Northern Arizona and posted her 65th career 10+ rebound game and 48th career double-doubule.
LAST TIME VS. WEBER STATE
The Sacramento State women's basketball team eclipsed the century mark for the ninth time in school history and posted its largest margin of victory ever against a Div. I opponent in a 103-60 win against Weber State on Jan. 19. The Hornets never trailed the Wildcats in the game and all 12 players who saw the court tallied at least one point and one rebound. Sacramento State knocked down a school record 41 field goals and tied the school record with 30 assists. The 103-point output is tied for the fifth most in school history and and the fourth most in regulation. It's the third most points scored by the Hornets under head coach Jamie Craighead, behind a 104-point effort at Northern Arizona and a 106-point performance versus San Francisco in 2010. The 43-point win doesn't crack the program's top-10 largest margins of victory overall (all Div. II wins or against Div. II opponents) but is the largest against a Div. I opponent and the third largest since the Hornets themselves moved to the Div. I ranks prior to the 1991-92 season. The Hornets led by 34 points at the break and by as much as 48 in the second half before the buzzer sounded on a 43-point victory.
LAST TIME VS. IDAHO STATE
Idaho State's Lindsey Reed scored a game-high 19 points and the Bengals handed the Sacramento State women's basketball team its first home loss of the season, 62-52, on Jan. 17. A game after scoring a the-season-high 85 points on in a win over Eastern Washington, the Hornets scored a season-low 52 versus the Bengals. Sacramento State was down early but kept the deficit respectable until Idaho State took a 41-31 lead with 13:47 left in the game. But the Hornets were able to rally back and were down just two points at 49-47 with 3:41 remaining. That's when Ashleigh Vella buried a 3-pointer on the next possession and the Bengals went 6-for-6 at the free throw line to salt the game away. Including the six free throws in the final minute, Idaho State went 21-of-27 at the foul line while Sacramento State went just 9-of-13. Kylie Kuhns led the Hornets with 15 points and seven rebounds while Fantasia Hilliard added nine points and five assists. Lindsey Reed paced the Bengals with 19 points while Kaela Oakes had 14 and Cydney Horton chipped in 12. Horton and Jessa Jeppesen each had a game-high nine rebounds.
POSSESSIONS PER 40 MINUTES
According to WBBState.com, Sacramento State ranks third in the NCAA and first in the Big Sky for possessions per 40 minutes. The Hornets average 81.4 possessions per 40 minutes. Only San Jose State (85.3) and Troy (83.2) rank ahead of Sacramento State.
KUHNS IN REBOUND RANKINGS
Kylie Kuhns ranks first in the Big Sky Conference and No. 23 in the nation this season, averaging 10.6 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 65 career games and 16 games this season. Kuhns has grabbed at least one rebound in every single game of her illustrious career.
KUHNS A DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Kylie Kuhns has 48 career double-doubles and 12 this season. She posted 14 points and 13 boards in a 78-68 win at Northern Arizona last weekend. She ranked No. 3 in the NCAA and led the league 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.
Sacramento State is once again at the top of the Big Sky in scoring this year, averaging 73.2 points per game. That total checks in at No. 16 in the NCAA. After starting relatively slow by their standards, the Hornets have scored 73+ points in nine of their last 11 games, including a season-high 103 points against Weber State on Jan. 19 and 93 in a win over Southern Utah on Feb. 2. 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, the Hornets 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.
A HELPING HAND
Sacramento State leads the Big Sky and ranks No. 8 in the NCAA, averaging 17.3 assists per game. Point guard Fantasia Hilliard leads the conference, individually, and ranks No. 17 in the NCAA with 6.2 assists per game this year. Sacramento State ranked No. 5 in the NCAA, averaging 17.7 assists per game last season. Hilliard 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. Hilliard has 156 assists thus far in 2012-13 and 306 in her career, the fourth most in program history.
Sacramento State leads the Big Sky in blocked shots and steals per game this year. The Hornets are averaging 6.2 blocks per game, which ranks No. 3 in the NCAA. The big reason why is Megan Kritscher, who is second in the nation with 3.84 blocks per game. At 12.2 steals per game, Sacramento State checks in at No. 1 in the Big Sky and No. 11 in the NCAA. The trio of Fantasia Hilliard (2.4, T-3rd), Se'nyce Parrish (2.4, T-3rd) and Alle Moreno (2.2, 6th) all rank in the top-10 individually in the Big Sky in steals per game. 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 Kylie Kuhns will likely make her 86th consecutive start and the 89th overall on Thursday night at Weber 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 Fantasia Hilliard has started 56 straight games, every contest since arriving on campus. Junior Alle Moreno is just behind with 55 straight starts. Se'nyce Parrish is now a fixture in the lineup and has made 23 consecutive starts this season.
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 is tied for the 18th most scored in a single game by any team in the NCAA this season. Including the Hornets, NCAA teams have reached 100 points just 43 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.