SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State hits the road yet again as they take on the Arizona State Sun Devils tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz. ASU is 2-0 and is receiving votes. Tip off is set for 1:00 pm PT.
The Starting Five
- Maranne Johnson scored 20 points in the team's last game against West Virginia, her first 20-point performance this season and the 19th of her career. She led last year's team with eight 20-point games.
- Freshman Dana DeGraffenreid is averaging 11.3 points per game and has double-digit points in each of her first three career games. She scored a career-high 13 at Morehead State. She is also averaging 30.0 minutes per game, third most on the team.
- Between Dana DeGraffenreid and Hannah Friend, two of Sacramento State's leading scorers are newcomers. In total, newcomers have accounted for 42% of the team's points through three games.
- The Hornets are 0-3 to start the season for just the second time under head coach Bunky Harkleroad. The Sacramento State women's basketball team has not started a season 0-4 since the 2011-12 season, during which they were 13-18.
- Sacramento State travels south to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils for the first time in 25 years. ASU is 2-0 entering play Saturday with wins over UTSA (74-42) and Fresno State (81-49). They are shooting 50.8% through those two games.
By The Numbers
40: Minutes played by senior guard Maranne Johnson in Sacramento State's last game against West Virginia, a new career-high.
25: Years since Sacramento State last faced Arizona State. The game was part of the Fun & Sun Tournament in Miami, Fla. on Jan. 2, 1992.
3,159: Miles traveled by the Hornets for their first four games of the season. Since leaving for Kentucky on 11/18, the Hornets have been home one day.
Scouting Arizona State
Arizona State finished last year's regular season 20-13 (9-9 Pac 12), including a win in both the Pac 12 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed and defeated the No. 12 seed Utah. They advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to the No. 4 seed UCLA. Despite the loss, the Sun Devils earned a big to the 2017 NCAA Tournament for the 15th time (12th under head coach Charli Turner Thorne). As a No. 8 seed, the defeated the No. 9 seeded Michigan State before falling in the second round to the No. 1 seed South Carolina in a tight 71-68 game. The Sun Devils are led by Kianna Ibis and Courtney Ekmar with 13.0 points per game. They have a deep bench that includes returning sophomore Reili Richardson, who last season as a freshman started 25 games and averaged nearly 30 minutes. As a team, the Sun Devils have only attempted 20 3-pointers so far this season, but they are shooting over 50% (64-126) from the field and are averaging 77.5 points per game.
About Last Game
The Sacramento State Hornets took on #12 ranked West Virginia on Tuesday and were unable to compete at a level at which they would have liked. The Hornets fell to the Mountaineers 101-47, shooting just 24.7% in the loss, including 19.4% from the tree-point line.
Good For Twenty
Senior guard Maranne Johnson put up 20 points in the team's last game, her first 20-point performance of the season. Johnson led the team with 20 or more points in eight games last season and now has 19 such games for her career. Johnson's career-high is 37 points in a game, achieved last November against Stanislaus.
Three Straight Double Digits
Dana DeGraffenreid has had no problem putting up points through her first three career games. The freshman guard is averaging 11.3 points while scoring double-digit points in each of her first three games. She scored a career-high 13 against Morehead and is shooting 32.4% for the season.
Newcomers Coming On
Newcomers Dana DeGraffenreid, Hannah Friend, and Tiana Johnson have combined to score 79 points through the first three games, 42% of the team's total points during that time. Other than senior returner Maranne Johnson, DeGraffenreid and Friend lead the team in scoring.
On The Road
Sacramento State's game against Arizona State is their fourth straight road game and just number four of seven consecutive games away from The Nest. Last season, the Hornets were 4-8 on the road and 0-3 at neutral sites. Sacramento State does not play at home until Dec. 6 when they host Antelope Valley.
Ranked Opponents Early
The Hornets take on an ASU team that is currently receiving votes just outside the Top 25. They opened their season against Kentucky, currently ranked #25, and followed that with a game against #12 West Virginia.
Ranked Opponents Overall
Sacramento State is just 1-6 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 the defeated #20 Texas 88-85 in their first game of the 1994-95 season.
The Hornets' 101-47 loss on the road to #12 West Virginia was their largest deficit (54 points) since falling to #15 Oklahoma 117-55 in 2011, also on the road.
Sacramento State enters Friday ranked 9th in NCAA Div. I with 83 3-point field goals attempted. Their 116 rebounds are 33rd most in the nation and second most in the Big Sky Conference. They are also top 50 in steals with 27.
Racking Up Minutes
Just one game after point guard Justyce Dawson set a new career-high with 32 minutes played on Saturday against Morehead State, her fellow senior Maranne Johnson set a new career high with 40 minutes played against West Virginia.
Senior guard Maranne Johnson made 93 3-pointers last season, setting a new single-season record for Sacramento State women's basketball. The previous record was 86 and was held by both Brianna Burgos (2016-17) and Hallie Gennett (2015-16). Johnson made 76 3-pointers her sophomore year and now has 220 in her career. She is just one of two players to ever break the 200-mark. With seven made 3-pointers so far this season, she is just 11 made 3-pointers behind Alle Moreno's program career record of 238 career threes.
In addition to chasing the program record for career made 3-pointers, Maranne Johnson also enters the season second in career steals. After an 87-steal season last year, Johnson entered this season with 248 steals in her career. With six steals already this season, Johnson is poised to overtake the all-time program leader Fantasia Hilliard, who has 308
The Hornets return just two starters from last year's postseason squad: senior guards Maranne Johnson and Justyce Dawson. Johnson led the team in scoring last season, averaging 15.0 points per game. She was also the team's leading 3-point shooter, shooting 33% from outside the arc. She was top-20 in NCAA Div. I in 3-pointers attempted (10th, 282), 3-pointers made (20th, 93), and 3-pointers made per game (13th, 3.10). Dawson, a 5-4 point guard, led the club in assists, average 4.3 per game. With 130 assists all season compared to just 47 turnovers, Dawson was 11th in NCAA Div. I with a 2.77 assist/turnover ratio. Among those returning to NCAA play this year, Dawson's 2.77 mark is the fifth best in the nation.
A Young Squad
Sacramento State's roster features five newcomers and two returning from redshirt seasons. Among the seven total players joining the roster this season, four are true freshmen: Tiana Johnson, Dana DeGraffenreid, Anna Weibel, and Skylar Jackson. Of the 13 players on the roster, eight are underclassmen.
The Nation's Best
For the fourth straight season, Sacramento State led NCAA Div. I in 3-pointers made per game (10.7). The Hornets set and all-time NCAA Div. I record when scoring 12.5 3FG/game in both 2015-16 and 2016-17. Top-25 Finishes Sacramento State finished in the top-10 in multiple stats per game last season, including steals (3rd, 12.3), turnovers (7th, 21.13), offensive rebounds (5th, 18), and overall scoring (8th, 82.4). Since the arrival of Coach Harkleroad, the Hornets have finished top-5 in steals for four straight seasons, including first from 2013-16.
Happy To Share
Senior point guard Justyce Dawson led the Big Sky and ranked 11th in NCAA Div. I with a 2.77 assist to turnover ratio last season. Among returners in NCAA Div. I women's basketball, Dawson's 2.77 assist/to number ranks fifth. She had a career-high 13 assists last season at Southern Utah, the second most assists in a game in program history and the most by a Hornets player in the Div. I era. She has 224 career assists and is just outside the top-10 all-time.
All The Threes
The Hornets knocked down 21 threes in two games last season, the most by a team in NCAA Div. I. Sacramento hold the NCAA Div. I record for 3-pointers made in a game with 25, a feat they achieved twice during the 2015-16 season. Sacramento State owns the NCAA Div. I record for both 3-pointers made (25) and 3-pointers attempted (80) in a single game.
Big Sky Preseason Poll
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.
Presence in the Post
While Coach Harkleroad has built his program around "The System," a style of play that calls for aggressive traps, steals, and lots of quick outside shots, the Hornets have one of their tallest teams in recent history, averaging 5-9 across the roster. Senior Kyhonta Doughty, a 6-1 forward is back from injury while sophomore guard Hannah Friend (6-0) is back after redshirting last season. They are joined by freshmen newcomers Tiana Johnson (6-2) and Anna Weibel (6-3) and returning sophomore Kennedy Nicholas (6-3) as the six-footers on the roster. With the added height, the Hornets could see more post-play this season than in years past.
Sacramento State enters the 2017-18 season having led the Big Sky in scoring for eight straight seasons. Last year, their 82.4 points per game were 10.2 more than second-place Montana State (72.2 ppg). Their 82.4 ppg was the eighth highest in the nation.
-- HornetSports --