SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team (16-7, 8-6 Big Sky) has its furthest travel of the season this week with Big Sky games at 6 p.m. Pacific Thursday at Northern Colorado (13-11, 7-8 Big Sky) and at noon Pacific Saturday at Big Sky-leading North Dakota (16-8, 11-4 Big Sky). The Hornets defeated both Northern Colorado and North Dakota in Sacramento in January.
Sacramento State leads NCAA Div. I in three-point makes per game (12.7), steals per game (14.3), and turnover margin (+9.96) and is second in points per game (88.4)...Alle Moreno, who broke the Big Sky career 3-point attempt record and is Sacramento State's all-time leader in 3-point makes, broke the program career steals record last week....With 291 made 3-pointers this season the Hornets have already eclipsed their own program and Big Sky record (264) and are just 51 shy of the NCAA record (342)...Sacramento State is 2-4 this season in road Big Sky games, averaging 80.3 points, 10.7 3-pointers, and...11.8 steals per game, all well below its overall season averages...The Hornets battled for a 74-64 home win over Northern Colorado and set a then-Big Sky record with 110 points and 214 combined points in their home win over North Dakota.
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The Nation's Best
Sacramento State leads all of NCAA Div. I (343 Teams) with 12.7 three-pointers made per game, 14.3 steals per game, and a 9.96 turnover margin. The Hornets are averaging 2.7 more 3-pointers and 1.9 more steals than any other team in the nation. The squad also ranks second in the NCAA with 88.4 points per game and is 15th with 17.7 assists per game and with a 1.27 assist to turnover ratio. Sacramento State leads the Big Sky in all of those categories, other than assist to turnover ratio, as well as offensive rebounds (17.3 ORPG)
Sacramento State is 11-2 at home this season but just 5-5 on the road. The squad is 2-4 in road Big Sky games while averaging 80.3 points and 10.7 3-pointers per game and shooting 38.1%. In the Hornets four Big Sky road losses, the team has averaged just 68.0 points per game while allowing 79.0 and shooting 25.0% from 3-point range with only 7.0 three-pointers made per game. Sacramento State was outscored 164-128 in the second half of those four games and outrebounded by 9.2 boards per game.
Senior guard Alle Moreno broke her third career program record last week against Eastern Washington as she surpassed Kylie Kuhns as Sacramento State's all-time leader in career steals at 210. She previously became Sacramento State's all-time leading 3-point shooter on Nov. 10 when she hit her fourth of six 3-point makes against San Diego State. Moreno surpassed the previous career 3-point record of 176 set by former Hornet Kim Sheehy, who concluded her collegiate career in 2007, while she had already established a new record for career 3-point attempts during her junior year. With 221 career 3-pointers to date Moreno is now 6th in Big Sky history. Moreno also became the 11th player in program history to crack the 1,000-point plateau this season when she scored her fourth of 22 points on Dec. 14 against UC Irvine. She is also the Big Sky record holder for career 3-point attempts.
Historic three-point shooting has been the Hornets calling card, as the team has led the nation in 3-pointers made per game throughout the 2013-14 season. The squad has thrice broken the single-game program record in 3-point makes and came within one of the NCAA record against UC Irvine, re-breaking the Big Sky record with 21 3-point makes and 55 3-point attempts. With 291 total 3-pointers made the team has already broken the single-season program and Big Sky records for made threes in a season and is approaching the NCAA record of 342, set last season by Florida Gulf Coast.
Sacramento State has had eight players make double-digit threes, including seven with 20 or more three-point makes this season. The Hornets have scored 873 of 2,033 total points this season on 3-pointers, as 291 made long balls have accounted for 42.9% of the team's points while just 37.8% of the total points have come on 2-point shots. The NCAA record for 3-pointers made per game in a season is 10.7 and Sacramento State is currently averaging 12.9, while the national record for 3-point attempts per game in a season is 29.7 and the Hornets are averaging 28.9.
Passing All Passers
With four assists against Northern Colorado on Jan. 25 Sacramento State junior point guard Fantasia Hilliard broke the all-time program record with her 454th career assist. She tied the record with three assists in the first half and broke it at the 13:32 mark of the second half, assisting on a layup by Margaret Huntington that gave the Hornets a game-high 12-point lead. Heather Baker had owned the record since completing her Sacramento State career in 1993 and was in attendance as Hilliard surpassed her total. Hilliard totaled 184 assists last season, bettering Baker's previous single-season school record of 160, and is on pace to surpass that number again this season. Her current assist total stands 12th in Big Sky history with still another season to play, and she ranks 11th in the NCAA this year with 6.6 assists per game.
Hornet Freshmen Hallie Gennett and Gigi Hascheff have been major contributors to the Hornets since the start of the season. Gennett ranks 22nd in the NCAA and leads the Big Sky with 2.91 three-point makes per game, including seven games making five or more 3-point shots. She made a Big Sky season-high eight 3-point shots in her first collegiate game vs. Cal State Northridge. Of her 94 made field goals on the season, 67 have been 3-pointers, while 198 of her 248 field goal attempts (80%) have come from beyond the arc, where she is shooting 33.8% on the season.
Hascheff is averaging 11.2 points per game this season and is shooting 76.4% from the free throw line. She has been especially superb in Big Sky play, averaging 12.6 points per game and shooting 40.8% from the field and 49-of-61 (80.3%) from the line. Hascheff is also third on the team with 2.8 assists per game and averages 1.3 steals per game. Over the last 10 games (nine starts) Hascheff is leading the team with 14.7 points per game and is second with 2.5 assists per game.
Scouting Northern Colorado (13-11, 7-8 Big Sky)
Northern Colorado has won two of its last three games, including a 65-59 road win last Saturday at Montana State. The Bears are 6-5 at home this year and 4-3 in home conference games. UNC is the second lowest scoring team in the conference, averaging just 64.0 points per game, but is second defensively allowing just 65.5 points per game. Junior Stephanie Lee ranks second in the Big Sky with 19.9 points per game and 2.1 blocks per game and is shooting 51.7% from the field. The Bears slowed down the game tremendously when the teams met in The Nest but the Hornets got 26 points from Gigi Hascheff and pulled out a 74-64 win.
Scouting North Dakota (16-8, 11-4 Big Sky)
North Dakota ran with the Hornets when the teams met in Sacramento, producing what was the highest scoring game in Big Sky history as the Hornets had three players score 20 or more points and Sacramento State won 110-104 despite UND shooting 63.2% in the contest. North Dakota is 11-1 at home this season and remains atop the Big Sky standings but has just a half-game lead after losing at both Montana and Montana State last weekend, losses that ended a five game winning streak the team had since losing to the Hornets. UND leads the Big Sky and ranks eighth in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+10.5) and is 11th in the nation in blocks per game (5.8). Sophomore Mia Loyd, who missed the game in Sacramento, and senior Madi Buck rank first and second in the Big Sky in rebounding while Buck is fourth with 16.1 points per game.