SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State Hornets take their two-game win streak on the road as they open a weekend trip Thursday at Idaho State. Still looking for their first road win of the season, the Hornets (5-18, 3-9) are riding back-to-back convincing wins as they take on the Bengals (15-8, 7-5).
Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05 pm PT on Thursday, Feb. 15 at Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho.
How To Watch
Thursday's game is scheduled for a 6:05 p.m. PT tipoff at Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho. Fans can watch the game live online at Pluto TV (Channel 233) and at WatchBigSky.com. An audio-only stream is also available via ISU Athletics Online Radio. Live stats can be found at hornetstats.com.
The Starting Five
- Maranne Johnson recorded three steals in Sacramento State's last game, giving her 310 career steals and moving her into first all-time for most career steals in Hornets women's basketball program history. She passed for teammate Fantasia Hillard (309, 2011-15).
- Hannah Friend was named the Big Sky's Player of the Week for her two-game performance against Montana State and Montana. The sophomore guard averaged 24.5 points and nine rebounds while playing 38 minutes in both games.
- Senior guard Justyce Dawson recorded a career-high 20 points in Sacramento State's Saturday win over Montana. The senior has set a new career-high twice this season, scoring 17 at Eastern Washington earlier this year.
- Tiara Scott has scored double-digit points in three straight games, the longest such streak of her career. The sophomore guard is averaging 16.3 points per game during the streak while averaging three assists and 30 minutes per game.
- Idaho State (15-9, 7-5) enters Thursday's game coming off a 68-55 win over North Dakota on the road. At home this season, the Bengals are 6-2. They shoot 44.6% as a team, the best mark in the Big Sky Conference, and average 70.4 points per game.
By The Numbers
14: The margin of victory in Sacramento State's three conference wins. That number jumps to 20 when counting non-conference wins.
48: Sacramento State's shooting percentage in their last two games (63-130), up more than 10% from their season average of 37%.
310: The number of career steals for senior Maranne Johnson, the most ever by a player in Sacramento State women's basketball history.
Scouting Idaho State
Idaho State enters Thursday night's game against Sacramento State with a 15-8 record, including a 7-5 mark in Big Sky Conference play. Idaho State is 3-2 over their last five games and have won their last two home tilts. At home this season, the Bengals are 6-2. As a team, Idaho State leads the Big Sky Conference with a 44.6 shooting percentage, while simultaneously holding opponents to a Conference-lowest 36.6 shooting percentage. They average 70.4 points per game (fourth in the conference), hold opponents to a conference-best 61.4 points per game, and own the Big Sky's best margin at 9.0 (63rd best in NCAA Div. I). Offensively, the Bengals are led by redshirt senior Brooke Blair, who averages 13.6 points per game. She is shooting 47.6% overall this season, including 42.2% from outside the arc. Kenyon Grace is right behind Blair with 11.9 points per game while leading the team with 6.7 rebounds per contest. At the helm for the Bengals is 10th year head coach Seton Sobolewski.
About Last Game
Sacramento State continued to ride their strong defense and hot shooting to their second straight win, defeating the Montana Bobcats 79-64 last Saturday at the Nest. As a team, the Hornets shot 44.9%, one of their best marks of the season, going 31-for-69 from the floor. Justyce Dawson led the team in scoring, setting a career-high with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Hannah Friend nearly secured her fourth double-double of the year, finishing with 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Tiara Scott led the team with five assists while also scoring 17 points. Sacramento State never trailed and led by as much as 17 in the third quarter.
Against Idaho State
- The Hornets are 7-37 against Idaho State since the start of the 1996-97 season, including 0-1 this year. In Pocatello, the Hornets are just 1-20 against the Bengals.
- In their last matchup, Sacramento State fell at home to Idaho State, 85-71, in what was a physical and heated matchup.
- Despite dropping their last two games against the Bengals, Sacramento State is 4-2 against Idaho State over their last six contests.
- The Hornets lone win in Idaho against Idaho State came during the 2015-16 season, a 68-59 win. They are 1-1 against the Bengals in two neutral showdowns.
Big Sky Breakdown
- Entering Saturday's games, Sacramento State is 10th in the Big Sky Conference, a game better than both Southern Utah (2-10) and Northern Arizona (2-10).
- Northern Colorado, picked to finish first in both the coaches and media preseason poll, sits atop the conference with a 10-3 Big Sky record.
- North Dakota, picked second in both the coaches and media preseason poll, is ninth with a 4-9 conference record.
Grand Theft Basketball
- Senior guard Maranne Johnson broke the school record for most career steals in women's basketball program history. She now has 310 career steals, one more than former program leader (and Johnson's former teammate) Fantasia Hillard, who had 309 steals between the 2011-15 seasons.
- Johnson owns the program record for most steals in a single season with 93 during the 2016-17 season.
- Johnson is fourth all-time in the Big Sky record books. She is two steals back of Weber State's Regina Okoye, who complied 312 steals between the 2012-16 seasons.
Big Sky Player of the Week
Hannah Friend was named the Big Sky's Player of the Week for her two-game performance against Montana State and Montana. The sophomore guard averaged 24.5 points and nine rebounds while playing 38 minutes in both games. It is the first Player of the Week award for the Hornets for the 2017-18 season.
A One-Two Punch
Total Points: Friend, 414, 5th; Johnson, 364, 10th
Field Goals Made: Friend, 143, 5th; Johnson, 143, 5th
Three-Point FG Per Game: Johnson, 2.70, 6th; Friend, 2.48, 7th
Points Per Game: Friend, 18.0, 4th; Johnson, 15.8, 11th
Dawson for 20
Senior guard Justyce Dawson set a career-high with 20 points in the team's last game. She broke her previous high of 17 points (set 2/1/18 at Eastern Washington) on 8-for-10 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from three.
Riding the Hot Shot
In their two wins this past weekend, Sacramento State combined to shoot 48.4% (63-130), their best two game percentage of the season and more than 10% better than their season average of 37%. The Hornets shot a season-best 52.5% last Thursday against Montana State and followed that up with a 44.9% effort Saturday against Montana.
Full Court Press
Sacramento State turned on the defense in their last two games, using the aggressive full court press that the team has been known for in recent seasons. The Hornets limited Montana State to just 55 shots total while holding Montana to a 37.3 shooting percentage. The extra press also helped forced 41 turnovers in the two games.
On the Road
The Hornets are still looking for their first road win of the season after going 0-12 so far this season. As a team, Sacramento State averages just 65.5 points per game on the road, a full 11 points fewer than they average at home (76.5). Hannah Friend, the team's leading scorer, averages more than eight fewer points on the road (14.3) than at home (22.5).
Sacramento State has done a good job this season holding on to the basketball, having committed just 326 turnovers on the season. That number is the 43rd fewest in all of NCAA Div. I and third fewest in the Big Sky Conference.
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 18.0 points per game.
The Hornets have won back-to-back games for the first time since winning two straight on the road at Montana and Portland State of last season (January 21 and 28, 2017).
Sac State Tag Team
- Hannah Friend (31 points) and Maranne Johnson (21 points) combined for 54 points last Thursday against Montana State. Their combined point total matched the most by a duo in a conference game in women's basketball program history.
- Johnson was involved the last time, as she (20 points) and former Hornet Brianna Burgos (34 points) combined for 54 points on Feb. 6, 2016, also against Montana State.
Sacramento State Top-10 Watch: Points
Maranne Johnson is currently fourth all-time with 1,486 points for her career. She is now just 18 points back of Kylie Kuhns (2009-13) and her 1,504 career points.
Sacramento State Top-10 Watch: Assists
Justyce Dawson is sixth for most career assists in Sacramento State women's basketball program history with 288. The senior point guard is nine back of Kylie Kuhns (297, 2009-13).
Sacramento State Top-10 Watch: Field Goals
Maranne Johnson enters the weekend fourth all-time for made field goals in Hornets' women's basketball program history. Her 558 made field goals are 44 back of Heidi Carroll's (1982-86) 602. With six games remaining in the regular season, Johnson needs to average just over seven made buckets a game to catch Carroll.
-- HornetSports --