SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State women's basketball team return to the Nest Thursday, Jan. 18 for a matinee contest against the visiting Weber State Wildcats. Sacramento State's first round loss to Weber State is still fresh in the minds of the Hornets and they'll look for a little bit of revenge tomorrow in the Nest. Tip off is set for 12:05 pm.
Thursday, Jan. 18 against Weber State is also the first ever Field Trip Day at the Nest with Sacramento State women's basketball. For more details about Field Trip Day, please click here. It's not too late to bring your students to the game!
How To Watch
Thursday's weekday matinee can be seen live online at watchbigsky.com and on Pluto TV, channel 233. The game will also be available in audio-only format online at hornetsports.com. As always, live stats for Thursday's game can be found online at hornetstats.com.
About Last Game
Sacramento State struggled in their last game, falling on the road to Montana State, 85-50. After heading into the half trailing by just six points, the Hornets went silent in the second half, scoring just 19 points after the break. The second half included a stretch of over nine minutes where Sacramento State did not make a basket. Their six points in the fourth quarter all came in the quarter's final two minutes and were their fewest points in any quarter this season. Despite the blowout second half, Maranne Johnson put up a 20 spot for the Hornets, making 7-of-22, including 4-of-14 from beyond the arc. She also played a game-leading 39 minutes in the effort for Sacramento State. No other Hornets player broke double digits for scoring, though Kennedy Nicholas, who recorded four blocks, came close, scoring nine points while pulling in a team-high six rebounds.
Against Montana State
• The Hornets are 14-27 against Weber State since the start of the 1996-97 season, though they are closer to .500 at home where they are 9-11 against the Wildcats.
• Weber State has won the last two contests and three of the last four between these two teams, though none of those wins came in the Nest.
• The teams faced each other twice last season, with Sacramento falling 66-60 (at Weber State) and in a heartbreaking 98-97 overtime loss in the first round of the Big Sky Tournament in Reno, Nev.
• Sacramento State has not won against Weber State since the 2015-16 season, an 87-64 win at the Nest.
Big Sky Breakdown
• The Sacramento State women's basketball team is one of three teams with just one win so far this season (also Northern Arizona, 1-4 and North Dakota, 1-5).
• Northern Colorado and Montana lead the conference with identical 5-1 records. Weber State is the only other team with just one loss at 4-1.
• Just one game after setting a career-high with six blocks against Montana, sophomore forward Kennedy Nicholas added four more blocks in the team's last game against Montana State. Previously, the Washington native had collected three blocks in a single game multiple times, including twice this season.
• Over her last four games, Nicholas has 15 blocks, or 3.8 per game.
• With 25 blocks on the season, Nicholas now has the fourth most in the Big Sky Conference and 110th across all NCAA Div. I programs. Similarly, her 1.56 blocked shots per game is also fourth most in the Big Sky and 10th in NCAA Div. I.
• Her six blocks were two shy of the Sacramento State program record for blocks in a conference game - 8, Kristine Knowlton, 1/30/2003 vs. Montana State.
Leaders Among Their Peers
• Maranne Johnson leads all Big Sky seniors with 2.7 steals per game.
• Hannah Friend leads all Big Sky sophomores with 18.4 points per game.
• Dana DeGraffenreid leads all Big Sky freshmen with 10.2 points per game.
Home Sweet Home
Thursday's game is the first of three straight home games for the Hornets, their longest such stretch of the season. Sacramento State has played just three home games this season and is 2-1 at home. As a team, the Hornets are scoring 82.0 points per game at home compared to just 64.4 points per game on the road.
Looking for Revenge
The last matchup between Weber State and the Hornets came in the first round of last year's Big Sky Tournament in Reno, Nev. The No. 9 seed, Sacramento State took the No. 8 seed Weber State to overtime with an even 89-89 score. In the game's final five minutes, the Wildcats scored nine to the Hornets eight, sending them forward with a dramatic 98-97 win.
The Hornets may only have three wins this season, but they are winning by an average of 25 points when they do. They defeated UC Riverside 99-72 (27 points), Antelope Valley 95-62 (33 points), and Idaho 79-64 (15 points).
All Around Game
Senior guard Maranne Johnson, known for her long-range shooting ability, has found a way to step up other aspects of her game her senior year and is currently on pace for a new season-best in rebounds and assists per game. After averaging 3.6 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game through three seasons, Johnson is currently averaging 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists this year.
Sacramento State has endured more than their share of injuries through the first half of the season.
• Junior Raegen Rohn missed the team's first four games recovering from a wrist injury.
• Senior forward Kyhonta Doughty has been battling a knee injury all season and has missed four games while being limited in four others.
• Senior point guard Justyce Dawson missed two games and was limited in two more with a concussion.
• Freshman guard Dana DeGraffenreid has missed three straight games with a hip injury after starting the team's first 12 games.
• After playing just two games, freshman forward Tiana Johnson has been out all season with a leg injury.
Top-10 Watch: Points
Maranne Johnson is currently sixth all-time with 1,378 points for her career. She is just 60 points back of both Sarah Stapp and Fantasia Hillard, who are tied for fourth with 1,438 career points.
Top-10 Watch: Assists
With four assists in her last game, senior point guard Justyce Dawson moved into seventh for most career assists in Sacramento State women's basketball program history with 256. The senior point guard is 22 back of Alle Moreno (278, 1987-91).
Top-10 Watch: Steals
Maranne Johnson continues to close in on the Sacramento State women's hoops program record for career steals. Johnson now has 291 for her career, just 17 off the program mark of 308 (Fantasia Hilliard, 2011-15).
Breaking Big Sky Records
• Sacramento State senior Maranne Johnson is the all-time leading three-point scorer in Big Sky Conference history. She enters play Thursday with 267 career three-pointers. She moved past Montana State's Katie Bussey (2008-12) on Saturday, Dec. 30. Bussey owned the previous record with 254 career threes.
• Johnson is one of four Sacramento State players to own a Big Sky Conference career record. The other three are Hallie Gennett (Big Sky record 2.80 career 3-Pt FG average), Alle Moreno (Big Sky record 808 career 3-Pt FG attempts), and Kylie Kuhns (Big Sky record 1,234 career rebounds).
• Idaho's junior guard Taylor Pierce is second among active Big Sky players and third all-time with 247 made three-pointers.
-- HornetSports --