WOMEN’S HOOPS GETS MULTIPLE STRONG PERFORMANCES IN 95-62 WIN OVER ANTELOPE VALLEY IN HOME OPENER

WOMEN’S HOOPS GETS MULTIPLE STRONG PERFORMANCES IN 95-62 WIN OVER ANTELOPE VALLEY IN HOME OPENER

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sophomore guard Hannah Friend put up 32 and sophomore forward Kennedy Nicholas scored a career-high 17 as the Sacramento State Hornets (2-7) took down Antelope Valley (6-6) for their home opener Wednesday night at the Nest.

Friend did almost all of her damage in the first half, scoring 23 in the game's first 20 minutes. She was 9-of-14, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. She scored nine more points in the game's second half to finish with 32, her second game with 30-plus points this season. She also had nine rebounds.

With the effort, she is now scoring 19.8 points per game and averaging 6.3 rebounds, both team-highs. She has led the Hornets in scoring six times no through the team's first eight games.

Not to be overshadowed by Friend's performance is sophomore forward Kennedy Nicholas, who put up a career-high 17 points in just 18 minutes played. The sophomore also grabbed seven rebounds and demolished her previous high-score of seven in a game.

Most of Nicholas's damage came in the second half, scoring 15 after the break as Tiara Scott and Maranne Johnson continued to find the sophomore down low. She was 8-for-12 overall and made her only free throw opportunity.

Speaking of Scott and Johnson, the duo combined for 14 of the team's 25 assists. Johnson led the team with eight assists while Scott collected six. For the season, Scott (4.5) and Johnson (3.8) are 1-2 on the squad in assists per game.

Johnson also matched a major Sacramento State women's basketball record, making her 238th career three-pointer in tonight's win. A senior, Johnson made an incredible 76 three-pointers as a sophomore before breaking the single season record of 86 by making 93 threes as a junior.

Now with 238 for her career, Johnson matches Alle Moreno (2010-2014). Currently, Johnson is on pace for 286 made three-pointers.

Overall, the Hornets shot 50% (36-72) from the floor, including 32.3% (10-31) from three. As a team, they pulled down 49 rebounds, a new season high (previous high was 42 at Kentucky), and had 15 steals, also a season high.

Antelope Valley got off to a strong start, matching the Hornets at 24 points on 11-of-24 (45.8%) shooting through the first quarter. They were unable to sustain that offense, however, ultimately shooting 34.8% for the game. They had 38 rebounds, including 20 offensive, and 10 steals. They were lead by a strong performance from forward Samantha Earl, who put up 20 points and had four assists.

With the win, the Hornets improve to 2-6 on the season and are undefeated at home. Tonight's game was Sacramento State's first at home this season after opening the 2017-18 campaign with seven straight road contests.

The stay in Sacramento is short, though, as the team plays next Friday night at San Francisco where they will take on the Dons at 6:05 pm. From there, the team immediately travels to Puerto Rico for the 2017 Puerto Rico Classic. Games are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 18 against Miami (Fl.) and Wednesday, Dec. 20 against Northern Illinois University.