SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team will look to turn their back-to-back wins in the Nest last week into a streak as they head back out on the road for this weekend. Up first is a Thursday night matchup at the Idaho Vandals, the Big Sky's top-scoring team. Tip on Thursday is scheduled for 6:05 pm and the game can be found live online.
How To Watch
- Sacramento State heads back out on the road after winning back-to-back games in the Nest. Thursday night, the Hornets take on the Vandals of Idaho before heading to Eastern Washington to take on the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.
- The Hornets shot 42.6% from the floor in their last game, a thrilling 77-76 win over the visiting Southern Utah Thunderbirds. It was just the second time this season that Sacramento State shot over 40%, the first being a season-best 44.4% performance against Montana.
- Kennedy Nicholas recorded her seventh double-double of the year while pulling down a career-best 20 rebounds last Saturday against Southern Utah. Nicholas collected 10 of each offensive and defensive rebounds and scored 22 points, also the team-high on Saturday.
- Hannah Friend scored 17 points Saturday, including 12 in the fourth quarter, matching her highest scoring quarter of the season. She was responsible for Sacramento State's final eight points Saturday.
- Idaho opens the week with a 7-8 overall record and a 4-2 mark in league play. Idaho leads the league in scoring with 74.7 points per game. Mikayla Ferenz, who averages 22.3 points per game this season, is the Big Sky's leading scorer.
20: Rebounds for Kennedy Nicholas on against SUU, tied for sixth most in single game history.
43: Rebounds per game for the Hornets, most in the Big Sky Conference.
20: Quarters this season in which an individual Hornet has scored 12 or more points.
About Last Game
Sacramento State took it down to the final seconds Saturday against Southern Utah, pulling out a thrilling 77-76 win in the Nest. Hannah Friend, who scored all eight of the Hornets' final points, hit the game-winner with 15 seconds left on the clock. A strong defensive set and a forced turnover sealed the win for Sacramento State.
Kennedy Nicholas finished with a team-high 22 points and a career-best 20 rebounds, including 10 off the offensive glass. Summer Menke also finished in double-digits for the Hornets, scoring 10 points. It was the second straight year that the Hornets and Thunderbirds took things down to the final seconds, as Sacramento State won last year in the Nest, 79-77, at the buzzer.
Thursday night's matchup on the road at Idaho is just the 14th between the Hornets and the Vandals since the 1992-93 season. All-time, the Vandals lead the series, 9-4, including four wins in each of the last five contests.
Last year, the Hornets and Vandals split their home-and-home series, each winning on their home court. Sacramento State beat Idaho, 79-64, in the Nest but fell at Idaho, 101-66, later in the season.
All-time in the Nest, the Hornets are 3-3 against the Vandals.
Nicholas Named Player of the Week
Junior forward Kennedy Nicholas was named the Big Sky's Women's Basketball Player of the Week for her performances against Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Nicholas averaged 18.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, 7.5 offensive rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game.
The honor is the first of Nicholas's career and Sacramento State's second this season. Junior guard Hannah Friend was named the league's player of the week earlier this season.
Dominating the Glass
Kennedy Nicholas's 20 rebounds against Southern Utah this past Saturday are a new career high for the junior. Previously, Nicholals's career high was 18 boards, a mark she had reached twice this season.
The 20 rebounds also tied for sixth most in a single game win Hornets' women's basketball history. It was the most rebounds in a single game since Margaret Huntington pulled in 21 in 2016.
Equal Opportunity Rebounder
Of Kenned Nicholas's 20 rebounds against Southern Utah, 10 came off the offensive glass. For the season, more than 40% of her 164 total rebounds have been of the offensive variety. For the season, Nicholas averages 11.7 rebounds - including 4.8 offensive rebounds - per game.
Rebounding as a Team
As a team, Sacramento State leads the Big Sky in both rebounds per game and offensive rebounds per game. The Hornets average a league-best 43.3 rebounds and 16.8 offensive rebounds per game. In addition to being tops in the conference, those numbers are 11th and 21st in the NCAA, respectively.
Protecting the Perimeter
Sacramento State opens the week with the conference's second best three-point field goal defense. The Hornets are holding their opponents to just 27.2% shooting from beyond the arc, second only to Southern Utah (27.1%). That defense will be put to the test Thursday when they face Idaho, who leads the conference and is 44th in the nation at 35.6% from three.
Junior guard Tiara Scott continued to pile up the assists last week, matching her career-high with nine against Northern Arizona and another four against Southern Utah. Scott's 4.6 assists per game ranks fifth in the Big Sky.
Protecting the Ball
In addition to the Big Sky's fifth-best assists per game (4.6), Tiara Scott owns the league's best assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.46. That number is also 26th in the nation.
Tiara Scott enters Thursday's game at Idaho with 255 career assists, the eighth most in Hornets program history. She is 23 assists back of Alle Moreno (278 assists, 2010-14) for seventh overall.
Making an Attempt
Sacramento State leads the Big Sky and is 15th in the nation with 485 total 3-point field goal attempts this season (34.6 per game). The Hornets consistently rank among that nation's most active three-point shooters, averaging over 1,000 attempts per season the last three years. They ranked 1st, 1st, and 13th during that stretch.
With seven total blocks over last week's two games, Kennedy Nicholas moved into fifth all time at Sacramento State with 76 career blocks. Nicholas is 50 blocks away from surpassing number four, Kylie Kuhns (126 blocks, 2009-13).
Seeing Double (Doubles)
Kennedy Nicholas recorded her sixth and seventh double-doubles of the season last week, going for 14 points and 10 blocks against Northern Arizona and 22 points and 20 blocks against Southern Utah. Her seven double-doubles are most in the Big Sky and 40th in the nation.
In just a season and a half with Sacramento State, Hannah Friend has already piled up 798 total points (18.1 points per game). At her current pace, Friend will join the Sacramento State 1,000 Point Club before the end of the regular season. Including her one season at Delaware, where she scored 104 points, Friend has 902 total points in her NCAA career.
A Class of Their Own
Hannah Friend's 19.5 points per game are most among Big Sky juniors. Similarly, Kennedy Nicholas's 11.7 rebounds per game is also most amongst Big Sky juniors. Sarah Abney leads all Big Sky freshmen with 1.0 steals per game.
Pulling Double Duty
Hannah Friend is the only player in the Big Sky to rank among the top five in both scoring and rebounding. Friend's 19.5 points per game in second in the league and her 8.1 rebounds ranks fifth.
Double-Digits for Menke
Freshman guard Summer Menke broke the double-digits point mark for the second time this season on Saturday when she put up 10 against Southern Utah. The freshman from Scottsdale had a career-high 12 points on Jan. 12 at Idaho State and has seven or more points in five games this season. She is averaging 4.7 points in 15.6 minutes per game this season.
Every Day Starter
Hannah Friend is the only Hornets player to have started all 14 of the team's games this season. Dating back to last season, the junior guard has started 27 straight games. Tiara Scott (13 starts), Kennedy Nicholas (12), and Raegen Rohn (10) have all made double-digit starts this season, as well.
On the Road Again
Sacramento State will play two games on the road after playing their last two at home in the Nest. The Hornets are still looking for their first road win of the season, though they did pick up a win against Illinois on a neutral floor.
In true away games this season, the Hornets are 0-3 and average just 55.0 points per game on 28.4% shooting. At home, the Hornets shoot 36.8% while scoring 73.8 points per game.
Fourth Quarter Flare
Junior guard Hannah Friend scored 12 of her 17 total points on Saturday in the fourth quarter. The 12-point quarter matched her highest of the season (also, 1st quarter at New Mexico) and is tied for the second highest quarter on the team this season (Tiara Scott, 13 points, 4th quarter vs. Illinois).
In addition to scoring 12 points in the quarter against Southern Utah Saturday, Friend was responsible for the Hornets' final eight points, including the game-winner with 15 seconds left.
Even at the Break
Saturday was Sacramento State's first game in which they were tied at half time as they went into the break even, 35-35, with Southern Utah. When the Hornets are tied or ahead at the half, they are 3-2 this season. They are 3-6 when they trail at the break.
The Hornets shot 40.0% or better for just the second time this season this past Saturday when they went 29-for-68 (42.6%) from the floor. The team's season high is 44.4% (32-72), a game they lost in double-overtime, 88-86, to Montana.
In games in which the Hornets shoot 35% or better, they are 6-5. When they shoot below that mark, they are 0-3.
- HornetSports.com -