SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -- The Sacramento State women's basketball team kicks off the action today as they take on Miami in their first game in the 2017 Puerto Rico Clasico. The game will take place at Trujillo Alto's Colesio Ruben Zayaz Montanez and tip off is scheduled for 4:30 AT/12:30 PT.
How To Watch
Both games in this week's Puerto Rico Clasico can be streamed online. The games will stream via Asi Van Los Deportes on Facebook. A direct link can be found online on the Sacramento State women's basketball schedule page.
Live Stream: Asi Van Los Desportes
Live Twitter Updates: Sac State WBB
The Starting Five
- Senior guard Maranne Johnson made two three pointers in the team's last game, her 239th and 240th, making her the all-time leader in career three-pointers Sacramento State women's basketball program history. She passed Ale Moreno (238, 2010-14) for the record.
- Just one game after setting a career-high with 17 points, sophomore forward Kennedy Nicholas pulled in a career-high 14 rebounds against San Francisco State. Nicholas also scored 14 points in the effort, recording her first career double-double.
- Sacramento State had five different players score in double-digits for just the second time this season in their last game against San Francisco. The previous game in which five players scored 10+ points was the Hornets' 99-72 win over UC Riverside.
- The Hornets take on Miami and Northern Illinois this week. Miami enters the tournament 7-3 and are riding a two-game win streak. Northern Illinois is 7-2 and have won their last three games.
- Sophomore guard Hannah Friend is fourth in the conference and 32nd in the nation with 3.11 three-pointers made per game.
By The Numbers
1: The number of games the Hornets have played at home this season. They are 1-0 at home and 1-6 away from the Nest this season.
43: Junior guard Raegen Rohn's shooting percentage from beyond the three-point line. She is 6-for-14 in five games played this year.
240: Number of career three-pointers for Maranne Johnson, the all-time three-point scorer in Sacramento State women's basketball program history.
Miami University enters the Puerto Rico Clasico with a 7-2 record and having won back-to-back games entering this week. A member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Miami finished last season 24-9. They fell to Duke in the ACC Tournament finals before going 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament as a number four seed, beating Florida Gulf Coast University before falling to Quinnipiac. Miami enters this week's tournament averaging 71.3 points per game (Sacramento State averages 72.9) although they have held opponents to a mere 59.6 points per game this season. The Hurricanes are led by freshman guard Mykea Gray, who averages 14.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Senior Erykah Davenport paces the squad with 10.1 boards. At the helm for Miami is 13th-year coach Katie Meier.
Scouting Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois University enters the Puerto Rico Clasico with a 7-3 record and have won their last three games. They finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 21-12 record, their first 20-win season since the 2006-07 season exactly 10 years prior. Their season earned them an invite to the WNIT, where they fell in their first game to South Dakota State. This year, the Huskies are off to a great start in part thanks to junior Courtney Woods, who is averaging 19.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. She is backed by Kelly Smith (55.6% shooting) and Mikayla Voigt (44% shooting from three). As a team, they are shooting 44% and average 82.2 points per game, 26th most in NCAA Div. I. The Huskies are led by third-year coach Lisa Carlsen.
About Last Game
The Hornets dropped a hard-fought game this past Friday night on the road at San Francisco. After battling for three quarters, Sacramento State stumbled in the final period before falling 90-76 to the Dons. Dana DeGraffenreid led the team with 16 points, just one ahead of Maranne Johnson. Johnson made two three-pointers, setting a new program record for career threes. Kennedy Nicholas recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, the first of her career.
Against Miami/Northern Illinois
This week is the first time the Hornets will face both Miami and Northern Illinois since becoming a Div. I program.
Helping Puerto Rico
The women's basketball team has games scheduled for today, Monday, Dec. 18 and Wednesday, Dec. 20. On Thursday, Dec. 21, the team will travel to Humaco, Puerto Rico to help students at the University of Puerto Rico prepare supplies and care packages to be delivered to communities in need following Hurricane Maria.
With two made three-pointers in Sacramento State's last game, senior guard Maranne Johnson is now the Sacramento State women's basketball program leader in career three-pointers with 240. She passed the previous leader, former Hornet Alle Moreno (2010-14), who is now second with 238. Johnson holds the single-season record for made three-pointers, making 93 last season and passing the previous record of 86 (Briana Burgos, 2015-16; Hallie Gennett, 2014-15). Johnson and Moreno are the only two Hornets players to break the 200-mark.
Just one game after setting a new career high with 17 points score, sophomore guard Kennedy set another career mark by pulling down 14 rebounds against San Francisco last Friday night. She also scored 14 points in the effort, recording her first career double-double and just the second this season by a Hornets player.
Grand Theft Basketball
Maranne Johnson is also closing in on the program record for career steals. With three steals in Sacramento State's last game, Johnson now has 268 for her career, just 40 off the program mark of 308 (Fantasia Hilliard, 2011-15). Johnson racked up 87 steals last year and is averaging 83 a season in her career, putting her on pace for 331 in her career.
Of Sacramento State's first nine games, five have been against either 2017 NCAA Tournament teams (Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona State) or 2017 WNIT teams (Morehead State, UC Davis). This week, they will face two more, as Miami made the NCAA Tournament and Northern Illinois was invited to the WNIT.
After starting the season's first four games on the bench, sophomore point guard Tiara Scott has started five straight games for the Hornets. During that time, she is averaging 33.4 minutes per game and 9.8 points per game. She is dishing out 7.0 assists and committing just 1.5 turnovers per game during that stretch, as well. For the season, her 1.65 assist to turnover ratio and her 4.2 assists per game are both fifth best in the Big Sky Conference.
The 2017-18 Hornets squad is one that will be well traveled. The team's first seven games of the season were on the road and 11 of their first 12 will take place away from the Nest. Their season-opening road trip called for four games - three on the east coast, one on the west coast - in a span of just nine days. So far, the Hornets are 0-7 on the road and 1-0 at a neutral site. Last season, Sacramento State was 4-8 on the road and 0-3 at neutral sites.
Minutes Starting to Mount
Nine of Sacramento State's 11 players are averaging over 17 minutes per game this season while four are averaging 27 minutes or more. Maranne Johnson (32.9), Dana DeGraffenreid (30.0), Hannah Friend (28.3), and Tiara Scott (27.1) lead the team in minutes. After missing two games with concussion symptoms, Justyce Dawson (22.4) falls under the 25-minute mark for the first time this season. Last season, the team had just one player average 25 or more minutes: Maranne Johnson (25.0).
The Puerto Rico Clasico is Sacramento State's second tournament this season. Their other tournament came over Thanksgiving weekend as they played two games in the Nugget Classic in Reno, Nev. They were 1-1 in those two games.
As a team, the Sacramento State Hornets are top 5 in the Big Sky Conference in 10 different categories and are ranked as high as third in six of those nine.
Among Big Sky Teams
Fewest Turnovers: 141, 5th
Rebounds/Game: 38.67, 5th
Scoring Offense: 72.9, 3rd
Steals: 81, 3rd
Steals/Game: 9.0, 3rd
3-Pt FGA: 257, 2nd
3-Pt FG: 76, 4th
3-Pt FG/Game: 8.4, 3rd
Turnover Margin: 0.67, 4th
Turnovers Forced/Game: 16.33, 3rd
Turnovers/Game: 15.7, 5th
Ranked or Receiving Votes
Sacramento State opened the 2017-18 season with not just their toughest travel schedule, but also their toughest competition. The Hornets opened on the road against a Kentucky team that was receiving votes and is now ranked #14 in the nation. They followed that with a game at #12 West Virginia (now #11) and then returned west to take on an ASU team that was ranked has high as #24 and is currently receiving votes.
Ranked Opponents Overall
After taking a loss against #12 West Virginia, Sacramento State is now just 1-7 all-time against NCAA Div. I ranked teams. Their only win against a ranked opponent is also their first game against a ranked opponent, when they defeated #20 Texas 88-85 in their first game of the 1994-95 season.
Big Sky Preseason Polls
Sacramento State was picked to finish 10th in the Big Sky preseason media poll and ninth in the coaches' poll. The Hornets earned 61 points in the media poll, just five behind Weber State and 27 ahead of Northern Arizona. In the coaches' poll, Sacramento State received 37 points, 26 back of Idaho State and three ahead of Weber State. The polls were unanimous on the Big Sky Champion, with Northern Colorado taking the top spot in both. North Dakota was selected to finish second in both polls, as well.
-- HornetSports --