SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State women's basketball team will take the court at the Nest for the final time this season on Saturday as they host the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. Tipoff for Saturday's game is scheduled for 2:05 pm PT.
How To Watch
Saturday's game is scheduled for a 2:05 pm PT tipoff at The Nest in Sacramento, Calif. Fans can watch the game live online at WatchBigSky.com and Pluto TV, channel 233. An audio stream will be available online at HornetSports.com/Radio. As always, live stats can be found at HornetStats.com.
The Starting Five
- Maranne Johnson scored 41 points in Sacramento State's last game against Northern Arizona, a new career-high. Her 41 points are the most ever scored by a women's hoops player in a conference game.
- Maranne Johnson (41) and Hannah Friend (23) combined for 64 points on Thursday, the second most ever scored by a duo in Hornets women's hoops history. It was the most scored by a dup in a conference contest.
- Sacramento State saw three players foul out Thursday, forcing the Hornets to play with just five players for the final three minutes of regulation and all five minutes of an overtime period.
- With 23 points Thursday, Hannah Friend recorded her 12 20+-point game for the season. She leads the team in both 20+ point games and 10+ point games (22). She is averaging 18.2 points per game.
- Southern Utah enters Saturday's contest with a 3-23 record, including 2-13 in Big Sky play. They are 1-13 on the road and are coming off a hard-fought, 70-66 loss on the road at Portland State.
By The Numbers
41: Points scored by Maranne Johnson on Thursday, a new career-high (previous 37) and the most ever scored in a conference game.
52: Points in the paint scored by the Hornets against Northern Arizona, their most in a game this season.
97: Shots taken by Sacramento State on Thursday, a new season-high. Their previous high was 82 and their program record is 111.
Scouting Southern Utah
Southern Utah enters Saturday's contest against Sacramento State with a 3-23 record, including a 2-13 mark in Big Sky Conference play. They are currently the 12th team in the conference, one game behind the Hornets. Southern Utah has lost their last 10 games, their last win coming on January 31st on the road at Northern Arizona. The Thunderbirds other conference win came against Idaho State, 76-70, at home. Southern Utah ranks near to last in most statistical categories this season, but has been strong on the court when it comes to steals and forcing turnovers. Their 256 steals and 10.2 steals per game are both second in the Big Sky Conference, each one spot ahead of Sacramento State. They also average 17.4 forced turnovers per game while owning a +1.92 turnover margin. Rebecca Cardenas paces the Thunderbirds 2.78 teals per game and 64 total for the season (2nd and 3rd per game, respectively). Southern Utah's Breanu Reid leads the team with 10.0 points per game while Whitney Johnson's 6.0 rebounds per game are tops on the squad. Although she only has four starts this season, Natalie Sanchez is averaging 9.5 points per game, second most. Head coach Chris Boettcher leads the Thunderbirds, in his third season.
About Last Game
Sacramento State dropped an overtime thriller Thursday night, 95-90 to the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. The team battled back from a 12-point halftime deficit to force overtime, tying the game with three minutes to play in the fourth. Maranne Johnson had a career night, scoring 41 points while pulling in nine rebounds and racking up six steals. Hannah Friend also had a big night, scoring 23 points in 30 minutes before fouling out. The game was the first overtime tilt the team has had this season.
Against Southern Utah
- The Hornets are 13-13 against Southern Utah since the start of the 1991-92 season. This is the first and only matchup between these two teams this season.
- In their last game, Sacramento State won a shootout at Southern Utah, taking down the Thunderbirds 110-104.
- At The Nest, Sacramento State is 7-4 against Southern Utah.
- Sacramento State has won their last six games against the Thunderbirds. They have not lost at home to the Thunderbirds since the 2013-14 season.
Big Sky Breakdown
- Entering Thursday's games, Sacramento State (3-12) is 11th in the Big Sky Conference. They are one game back of Northern Arizona (4-11) and one game ahead of Saturday's opponent, Southern Utah (2-12).
- Northern Colorado, picked to finish first in both the coaches and media preseason poll, sits atop the conference in sole possession of first place with a 12-3 Big Sky record.
- Two games separate six teams vying for third and fourth in the conference before the Postseason Tournament.
Saturday's game at the Nest is Senior Day as the Hornets recognize their departing seniors, Justyce Dawson, Kyhonta Doughty, and Maranne Johnson. Combined the trio played nearly 350 games over the course of their careers at Sacramento State.
Maranne's Historic Night
Senior guard Maranne Johnson now has 1,543 career points and became Sacramento State women's basketball's third all-time scorer last night, passing former Hornet Kylie Kuhns (2009-2013) and her 1,504 points. Johnson will likely finish her career as the Hornets third-highest scorer as she trails Heidi Carroll by 186 points (1,729 points).
- Maranne Johnson moved into the top three all-time scorers list with an incredible 41-point performance Thursday night against Northern Arizona. She set career-highs in both field goals and field goal attempts while passing her previous career-high of 37 points.
- Johnson's 41 points are the most ever scored in a Big Sky Conference game by women's player in Hornets history.
- Johnson finished four points back of Kristy Ryan's single game record for any game of 45 points. Ryan scored 45 at UC Irvine during the 1993 season.
Tag Team, Back Again
- Earlier this season, Maranne Johnson and Hannah Friend combined to score 54 points against Montana State. That number matched a program record for most points by a duo in a conference game (previous, Brianna Burgos and Maranne Johnson, 2016). Last night, Johnson and Friend demolished that record, combing for 64 points (Johnson 41, Friend 23), setting a new record for points by a dup in a conference game.
- The all-time record for points scored by a duo is 70 (Kristy Ryan, 45; Sarah Stapp, 25), set in 1993 at UC Irvine.
Kennedy Nicholas has 34 blocks this season, the fourth most in the conference. She is averaging 1.36 rebounds per game. She has three games this season with four or more blocks.
Dish It Like Dawson
Justyce Dawson collected a team-leading six assists in Sacramento State's last game. She has 75 assists for the season and a team-best 2.30 assist/turnover ratio (second, Big Sky). She has led the team in assists a season-most 11 times.
Grand Theft Basketball
Maranne Johnson racked up six steals against Northern Arizona, bringing her season total to 71. In addition to holding the Hornets program record for career steals (319), Johnson is also third all-time in the Big Sky. She is 21 back of Montana State's Liz Holz, who totaled 240 career steals from 1986-89.
Second Half Strong
Through the first nine games of the Big Sky Conference schedule, Sacramento State went 1-8 while averaging just 67.6 points per game on 37.5% shooting. Since then, Sacramento State is 2-4 with three games remaining. Through their last six games, the Hornets are putting up 77.8 points per game while shooting 40.4%.
A One-Two Punch
Hannah Friend and Maranne Johnson have been a knock-out 1-2 punch for the Hornets this season. Entering Thursday's game, the duo is both top 10 in the Big Sky in numerous offensive categories. These numbers are certainly higher after their combined performance against Northern Arizona.
Field Goals Attempted: Friend, 424, 3rd; Johnson, 390, 5th
Three-Point FG Attempted: Friend, 208, 4th; Johnson, 196, 6th
Three-Point FG Made: Johnson, 64, 6th; Friend, 62, 7th
Three-Point FG Per Game: Johnson, 2.56, 5th; Friend, 2.48, 7th
Points Per Game: Friend, 18.0, 6th; Johnson, 15.2, 11th
Home Sweet Home
The Hornets are back home for the first time since winning back0to0back games in The Nest against Montana State and Montana. The Hornets have had much better luck at home this season.
- Four of Sacramento State's five wins this season have come at home (the fifth was at a neutral site)
- The Hornets average 76.5 points per game at home this season, more than 10 points better than they do on the road (66.4 points per game).
- At home, the Hornets have a +2.3 scoring margin. On the road, that number plummets to -21.2.
Leaders Among Their Peers
- Maranne Johnson leads all Big Sky seniors with 2.6 steals per game.
- Hannah Friend leads all Big Sky sophomores with 18.0 points per game.
Sacramento State Top-10 Watch: Points
Maranne Johnson is currently third all-time with 1,543 points for her career. She is 186 points back of Heidi Carroll (1982-86) and her 1,729 career points.
Sacramento State Top-10 Watch: Assists
Justyce Dawson is fifth for most career assists in Sacramento State women's basketball program history with 299. The senior point guard is 67 back of Julie Wastell (366, 1995-99).
Sacramento State Top-10 Watch: Field Goals
Maranne Johnson is fourth all-time for made field goals in Hornets women's basketball program history. Her 580 made field goals are 22 back of Heidi Carroll's (1982-86) 602. With three games remaining in the regular season, Johnson needs to average just over seven made buckets a game to catch Carroll.
-- HornetSports --