SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team is back this Friday as they take the court in the Nest for the first time this season. They'll host Holy Names University for their first and only exhibition game of the season. Tip off is set for 5:00 p.m. and the game is part of a doubleheader that will see the men's team host UC Santa Cruz at 7:35 p.m.
While Friday is the unofficial open to the 2017-18 women's basketball season, the team opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 10 at Kentucky. They play 10 of 11 non-conference games on the road this season, returning to the Nest just once to host Antelope Valley on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Among those 10 games are four against 2016-17 NCAA Tournament teams (Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona State, Miami).
Big Sky conference play starts on Saturday, Dec. 30 at Portland State, but opens at home on Thursday, Jan. 4 against Idaho.
Tickets for Friday's doubleheader are just $5 and grant access to both the women's game against Holy Names (5:00 pm) and men's game versus Santa Cruz (7:35 p.m.). Just like every athletics event on campus, Sacramento State students will be admitted free with a valid One Card.
Sacramento State is coming off a 2016-17 season in which the team went 10-20, including 6-12 in Big Sky play. Like this season, the Hornets opened last season with a challenging non-conference schedule that included two Pac-12 teams and multiple postseason teams.
The Hornets welcome back six returners this season and just two starters. Those starters though are last season's leading scorer Maranne Johnson (15.0 ppg) and assist leader Justyce Dawson (4.3 apg). Also returning are junior Raegen Rohn and sophomores Quayonna Harris, Tiara Scott, and Kennedy Nicholas. Returning from redshirt seasons are both senior forward Kyhonta Doughty and sophomore guard Hannah Friend.
New to the team this year are four freshmen and one transfer. The transfer, junior Gabi Bade, was an instrumental part of Buffalo's surprise postseason run last season. The four freshmen are Tiana Johnson, Dana DeGraffenreid, Anna Weibel, and Skylar Jackson.
Friday's exhibition game will not be on the radio or streamed online. However, once the regular season begins, all games can be watched online at www.WatchBigSky.com. visit the women's basketball schedule for details.
- Friday's exhibition game between Holy Names University and Sacramento State is the second consecutive exhibition game between the two teams. Sacramento State defeated Holy Names 92-55 at the Nest last year.
- Holy Names University is a Div. II school with an enrollment of just under 1,200. Their women's basketball team went 3-23 last season, including 3-17 in conference and 1-13 on the road.
- Like the Hornets, Holy Names has just one exhibition game this year. They open the regular season with a tournament on Friday, Nov. 10.