SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Juniors Kennedy Nicholas and Hannah Friend each broke the 20-point threshold Monday night as the Sacramento State Hornets defeated the William Jessup Warriors, 106-103, in their lone preseason exhibition game.
Nicholas led the duo and the team with 26 total points on an impressive 11-of-16 shooting, including a perfect 1-for-1 from three and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. The junior forward also added a team-high 12 rebounds in the winning effort. Perhaps most impressively on the night, eight of Nicholas' 12 boards came off the offensive glass.
Although the double-double will not go down in the team's official stats, it is a strong opening showing for Nicholas, who recorded a team-high five double-doubles last season.
Hornets take down William Jessup, 106-103 in their exhibition game Monday night!— Sacramento State Women's Basketball (@SacStateWBB) November 6, 2018
Kennedy Nicholas with a team-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. Friend (24 pts), Menke (15), and da Silva Sa (14) all in double figures. #StingersUp #Team54 pic.twitter.com/PEMszoMhbf
Friend, another junior, was not far behind, finishing her night with 24 points on 10-of-22 shooting. Last year's leading scorer, Friend also contributed on the defensive end of the court, leading the team Monday night with six steals and three blocks.
Freshman Summer Menke (15 pts, seven rebs, five steals) and junior transfer Julynne da Silva Sa (14 pts, six rebs, one block) also broke double digits for the Hornets in what was their Sacramento State debut.
Point guards Tiara Scott and Milee Enger were both effective for Sacramento State. Scott, last year's assist leader and a returning junior, paced the offense with eight assists while Enger added another six.
Despite the strong offensive showing by Sacramento State on Monday, they found themselves trailing by nine, 85-76, at the start of the fourth quarter. In a dominant final period, Sacramento State scored 30 points in the game's final 10 minutes, shooting an impressive 62.5% (10-16) from the floor. They outscored the Warriors 30-18 in the fourth quarter, including going on a 7-0 run over the game's final 2:21.
Monday's exhibition also represented a return to more traditional "Bunky-Ball," a fast-paced and aggressive style of play based on quick shots, constant substitutions, and an attacking defense. Sacramento State took 92 total shots Monday night and shot 44.6% overall. They were 12-of-41 from beyond the arc (29.3%) and took advantage of free points, going 12-for-14 from the free throw line (85.7%).
The team used 12 players in total Monday night, with Friend playing a team-high 27 minutes. 10 of the 12 players used in Monday night's win recorded double-digit minutes while five of the 12 were over 20.
Monday night's game was about more than just basketball, as well. A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of William Jessup's Kevin McLemore, a member of their men's basketball program who passed away suddenly over the weekend. After the game, the two teams gathered at midcourt for a postgame prayer, led by Warriors head coach Kurt Westendorp.
The exhibition contest against William Jessup is the only preseason game of the year for the Hornets, as they open the regular season at home against Cal Poly on Sun., Nov. 11 in the Nest. Tip off for Sunday is scheduled for 2:05 pm.
Before then, the Sacramento State women's basketball program is excited to host its first ever Night in the Nest season tip off dinner. The dinner is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 8. For more details on both the dinner and the upcoming Hornets schedule, please visit HornetSports.com.