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Women's Basketball Game Notes, 11/29 - PDF

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team looks to improve to 3-1 as they return home to the Nest to host the University of Antelope Valley on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2:05 p.m. The matchup is just the second between the two programs and the Hornets will attempt to repeat last year's 30-point win over the Pioneers.  

How To Watch

Hornets vs. University of Antelope Valley
Saturday, Dec. 1 // 2:05 PM PT
The Nest // Sacramento, Calif.
Watch: Pluto.TV (ch. 233)WatchBigSky.com
Live Stats: HornetStats.com
Twitter: @SacStateWBB

All home Sacramento State basketball games and all Big Sky Conference games will be streamed live online at WatchBigSky.com and on Pluto.TV, channel 233. 

All streaming links, news, and updates can also be found by visiting the 2018 Women's Basketball Schedule online at HornetSports.com.

Opening Tip

  • Sacramento State defeated the Big Ten's Illinois, 109-107, in their last game, clinching their first win against a Big Ten team in program history.
  • Kennedy Nicholas leads the nation in offensive rebounds per game (7.0) while ranking 15th in NCAA Div. I with 12.3 rebounds per game. Against Illinois, she matched her career-high with 15 boards. The junior forward is averaging a double-double this season (13.3 pts, 12.3 rebs).
  • Junior guard Hannah Friend led the Hornets with 33 points in the win, one off her career-high. She has scored 20 or more points in all three of Sacramento State's games this season and is averaging 26.0 points per game, third best in all of NCAA Div. I women's basketball.
  • Tiara Scott set a new career mark with 29 points in the Hornets' win over Illinois, passing her previous career best of 25 (2/18/17). She made 11 shots in the win, another career-high, including seven from beyond the arc.
  • The University of Antelope Valley enters Saturday's game ranked #11 in NAIA Div. II with a 7-2 overall record. The Hornets beat the Pioneers, 92-65, in the Nest last season.

By the Numbers

26.0: Points per game for junior guard Hannah Friend, the third highest mark in all of NCAA Div. I women's basketball. 

98.0: Points per game averaged by Sacramento State, the highest in all of NCAA Div. I women's basketball.

7.0: Offensive rebounds per game for junior guard Kennedy Nicholas, the top mark in all NCAA Div. I women's basketball.

Against University of Antelope Valley

Sacramento State and the University of Antelope Valley have faced each other just once in their history, a game last season in the Nest which the Hornets won, 95-62. 

After both teams scored 24 points in the game's opening quarter, the Hornets outscored the Pioneers by double digits in each of the final three quarters. 

The game was a breakout performance for Hannah Friend in her first home game for the Hornets as she scored 32 points and pulled in nine rebounds to go with three steals.

Off On The Right Foot

The Hornets are off to a 2-1 start to the season for the first time since the 2013-14 season, Coach Harkleroad's debut season. Sacramento State started that season by going 11-1. 

The Nation's Top Offense

Sacramento State comes into this weekend with the country's top scoring offense, averaging 98.0 points per game. They are just barely ahead of the nation's No. 2 offense, Mississippi State, who averages 97.5 ppg. 

The Hornets scored a season-high 109 points in their last game, a two-point win over Illinois. 

It's Raining Threes

For four straight seasons from 2013-2016, Sacramento State led the NCAA in made three-point field goals per game. After a step back last season, the Hornets are again atop women's basketball with 13.7 made three-point field goals per game. 

Sacramento State's record - and the NCAA record - for made three-point field goals per game is 12.5, a mark the Hornets achieved in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. 

Juniors Tiara Scott (1st - 4.00 3PT FG/Gm) and Hannah Friend (2nd - 3.67) and freshman Summer Menke (9th - 2.00) are all among the top 10 in the Big Sky for made threes per game. 

Scott For Three!

Junior guard Tiara Scott leads the Hornets with 12 made three-point field goals. She is one of three players in the nation to have made more three's than her team has allowed (11). Junior Hannah Friend (11) is one of two players to make as many as her team has allowed.

More Steals than Anyone

Sacramento State leads the NCAA in steals per game, piling up 13.7 steals per game so far this season. Tiara Scott (4.00), Summer Menke (2.67), and Hannah Friend (2.00) lead the Hornets in steals per game and are 3rd, 5th, and 6th in the Big Sky Conference, respectively. 

Nicholas Leading the Nation

Junior forward Kennedy Nicholas leads the nation with 7.0 offensive rebounds per game. She has 37 total rebounds on the year, good for 12.3 per game, the 15th-highest mark in the country. 

Nicholas has led the team in rebounds in each of the Hornets' three games. She matched her career-best with 15 rebounds against Illinois on Nov. 24. 11 of those 15 rebounds came off the offensive glass. 

Last year, Nicholas led the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. This year, she is averaging a double-double (13.3 points, 12.3 rebounds) per game. 

Nicholas Leading the Nation, Pt. II

Kennedy Nicholas is a perfect 16-for-16 from the free throw line so far this season. Nicholas is one of six players with a perfect FT% and her 16 makes are third most among them.

Friend Third in Scoring

Junior guard Hannah Friend is third in all of NCAA Div. I women's basketball with a 26.0 points per game. She has scored at least 20 points in every game this season, including a season-high 33 against Illinois on Nov. 24. 

Friend led the team last season with 17.5 points per game while scoring a season total of 525 points. That number was the fifth-highest in Hornets' single season history.

Scott Does It All

Junior point guard Tiara Scott is off to an strong start to the 2018-19 season, leading or placing among the top of the Big Sky and NCAA in multiple categories.

Scott is No. 1 in the Big Sky in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (4.75), in Assists Per Game (6.3), and in Three-Point Field Goals Made Per Game (4.00). Of those, her 4.00 Made Threes per Game are fifth in the nation while her 4.75 Assist-to-Turnover Ratio is 8th.

The junior also ranks among the top five in the Big Sky in Field Goal % (3rd, 47.8%), 3Pt FG % (3rd, 44.4%), Steals Per Game (2.67, 3rd), and Points Per Game (19.7, 4th). 

Johnson's Big Game

Redshirt freshman Tiana Johnson had a career game against Illinois, scoring a career-high 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including 4-fo-8 from three. She also pulled in three rebounds despite playing just 16 total minutes in the game.

Rix Off the Bench

Freshman forward Maesyn Rix scored 12 points for Sacramento State in their game against Pepperdine. Although she played just eight minutes off the bench, she was 5-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-5 from the free throw line. Additionally, she pulled in six rebounds. Again, in just eight minutes. 

Upsetting the Big Ten

Sacramento State's last game, a 109-107 win over Illinois, was the program's first ever win over a Big Ten school. Entering the game, the Hornets were 0-2 all-time against Big Ten programs, including a loss to both Penn State (1992-93) and Ohio State (1994-95).

More Time In The Nest

Saturday's contest against the University of Antelope Valley is Sacramento State's third home game of the season. The Hornets will play five of their first seven games in the Nest this year. 

Further, Sacramento State plays just one true road game during their non-conference schedule this season, a game at New Mexico against the Lobos. The Hornets' three remaining non-conference away games are on neutral courts. 

Putting Up 100

Entering this season, head coach Bunky Harkleroad has said that one of his team's goals is to take 100 shots a game. The Hornets broke that mark, taking 101 shots against Illinois last Saturday. For the season, the Hornets are averaging 94.3 shots per game, including 47.6 three-point attempts per game.

Winning The Turnover Battle

Sacramento State has forced at least at least 18 turnovers in each of their first three games, including a season-high 34 against Cal Poly. They have forced a total of 73 while committing just 46. Their 9.00 turnover margin is the 16th best in the nation and tops in the Big Sky.

The Hornets have finished first or second in the Big Sky in turnover margin in each of the last five seasons and among the top 15 in the nation four of the last five. During that stretch was a program-best 11.97 turnover margin in 2014-15, the best in the nation.

A Refreshed Roster

The Sacramento State women's basketball team opens the 2018-19 season with 17 active players on the roster, its most ever under head coach Bunky Harkleroad (sixth season). Last season, Sacramento State had 11 active players (plus two redshirts). Because of injuries, the Hornets spent much of last season with just eight available players.

International Influence

Three of Sacramento State's newcomers are from outside the United States. Claire Bady, a transfer from Eastern Florida, is originally from France, while Emily Enochs comes to Sacramento State from Germany. Julynne de Silva Sa, a transfer from Northwest College, is from Brazil.

Big Sky Gets a Little Smaller

With the departure of North Dakota from the Big Sky, the Big Sky Conference now includes 11 women's basketball programs. While the total number of conference games remains the same as last season (20), those 20 games now features a home-and-home with each of the other 10 teams. 

Big Sky Preseason Poll

Sacramento State was selected ninth in both the Big Sky's Coaches Preseason Poll and Media Preseason Poll. The Hornets received 28 total points in the Coaches Poll, 10 behind Weber State for the ninth spot. In the Media Poll, Sacramento State received 57 points, a full 43 back of Weber State.  

- HornetSports.com -