SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As the 2017-18 regular season nears its end, the Sacramento State women's basketball team will take to the road for their final two regular season conference games of the year. Weekend play starts Wednesday night as the Hornets take on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
Wednesday's game is scheduled for a 5:05 pm tip off at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
How To Watch
Wednesday night's game is scheduled for a 5:05 pm PT tipoff. Fans can watch the game live online on Pluto TV, channel 240. An audio-only stream is also available via North Dakota's online radio stream. As always, live stats can be found at HornetStats.com.
The Starting Five
- Sacramento State celebrated Senior Day this past Saturday with a 79-77 win at the buzzer over Southern Utah. Senior point guard Justyce Dawson hit the go-ahead shot as time expired to seal the win for the Hornets.
- Raegen Rohn scored a career-high 16 points last Saturday against Southern Utah. She was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor, including 4-for-4 from three. She also went 2-for-2 at the free throw line in the win.
- Maranne Johnson scored 41 points last Thursday against Northern Arizona, a new career-high. That number is a new Sacramento State record and matched the Big Sky record for points in a conference game.
- Also last Thursday, Maranne Johnson (41) and Hannah Friend (23) combined for 64 points, the most scored by a duo in a conference contest. It was the second highest combined total in program history.
- North Dakota, who was picked to finish second in the Big Sky women's hoops preseason poll, enters play this week with a 5-11 conference record, just one game better than Sacramento State.
By The Numbers
16: Points scored by Raegen Rohn in Saturday's win. The 16 points are a new career high for the junior guard.
3: Teams within one game of each other for the nine, 10, and 11 seeds in the Big Sky Championship Tournament, set to start Monday.
Scouting North Dakota
North Dakota enters the final week of the regular season with a 12-15 overall record, including a 5-11 record in Big Sky Conference play. They are ninth in the conference standings, just one game better than Sacramento State. The Fighting Hawks have dropped their last two games, falling back to back on the road at Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado. Despite a 2-12 record on the road, North Dakota is 9-3 at home, including 4-3 at home against conference opponents. They are averaging 66.0 points per game this season but have given up an average of 67.5 points per game. North Dakota is tops in the Big Sky Conference rebound margin (6.3) and second in rebounds per game (40.81). They also rank second in the conference in both total blocked shots (112) and blocked shots per game (4.1). Lexi Klabo, who leads the team in almost every category, has more than half her team's blocks with 58. She also leads the team in scoring (18.0 points per game), rebounds (9.1 reb/game), and everything free throw related (makes, attempts, percentage - all first on the team). She is second on the squad in field goal percentage (.505) and third in both minutes (29.4) and steals (22). The Fighting Hawks are led by sixth-year head coach Terry Brewster.
About Last Game
Sacramento State won a thriller last Saturday, beating Southern Utah 79-77 at the buzzer on a Justyce Dawson game-winning layup. Dawson took the inbound pass at midcourt with three second remaining and, with a sweet behind the back dribble, got a step on her defender and broke for the basket. Her first game winner came on her final home game on Senior Day. Raegen Rohn had a career day for the Hornets, as well, going a perfect 5-for-5, including 4-for-4 from three and 2-for-2 from the line on her way to a career-best 16 points.
Against North Dakota
- The Hornets are 5-4 against North Dakota since the start of the 2012-13 season. This is the first and only matchup between these two teams this season.
- In their last game, Sacramento State fell at home to the Fighting Hawks, 92-78.
- At The Nest, Sacramento State is 3-2 against North Dakota.
- Although Sacramento State leads the all-time series 5-4, they have lost three straight to North Dakota. Their last win came on the road at North Dakota during the 2013-15 season.
Big Sky Breakdown
- Entering the final week of the regular season, Sacramento State (4-12) is tied for 10th in the Big Sky Conference (Northern Arizona, also 4-12). They are one game back of their Wednesday opponent North Dakota (5-11).
- 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 13-3 Big Sky record.
- Six teams are separated by two games or fewer for second, third, and fourth in the conference with just two games remaining in the season.
Best of the Week
Senior guard Maranne Johnson was named this week's Big Sky Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week on Tuesday, her first honor of the season and the fourth of her career. Johnson averaged 28.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 3.0 steals over two games last weekend.
Johnson joins Hannah Friend as the only other Hornet to win the award this season.
With her 56 points weekend, Maranne Johnson now has 1,558 career points, the third most in Sacramento State women's basketball history. After scoring 41 last Thursday, Johnson passed 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 141 points (1,729 points).
Career Day for Rae
Raegen Rohn had a career day for the Hornets last Saturday, putting up a career-high 16 points. The junior shooter could not miss, going 5-for-5 from the floor, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. She also made 2-of-2 free throws while playing just 21 minutes. She also added two rebounds and an assist in the effort.
What a Weekend
Sacramento State played it's two most exciting games of the season last weekend, falling 95-90 in overtime against Northern Arizona and beating Southern Utah, 79-77, on a Justyce Dawson buzzer beater. The five-point and two-point margins are two of the four closest games of the year (loss by five at Davis, loss by one at Portland State).
Senior Day Buzzer Beater
Senior point guard Justyce Dawson hit the game-winning shot as time expired Saturday, giving her and the Hornets the last-second win on Senior Day. In total, Sacramento State's three seniors averaged 27 minutes, 10.3 points, and five rebounds in their final home game at The Nest.
Sac State's Tag Team
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 Thursday, Johnson and Friend demolished that record, combing for 64 points (Johnson 41, Friend 23), setting a new record for points by a duo 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.
A One-Two Punch
Field Goals Attempted: Friend, 461, 3rd; Johnson, 439, 4th
Field Goals Attempted: Friend, 168, 4th; Johnson, 167, 5th
Final Points: Friend, 489, 4th; Johnson, 436, 9th
Points Per Game: Friend, 18.1, 4th; Johnson, 16.1, 11th
Careful With The Ball
Sacramento State has three players among the top 10 in the Big Sky in assists-to-turnover ratio. Justyce Dawson is second in the conference with a 2.24 mark while Tiara Scott (1.63) and Maranne Johnson (1.26) are sixth and 10th, respectively.
Kennedy Nicholas leads the Hornets with 34 blocks this season. Her 1.26 blocks per game is seventh in the Big Sky Conference. She had a career-high six blocks at Montana.
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 3-4 with two games remaining. Through their last seven games, the Hornets are putting up 78.0 points per game while shooting 40.7%.
Grand Theft Basketball
Maranne Johnson has 71 steals this season, giving her 319 for her career. In addition to holding the Hornets program record for career steals, Johnson is also third all-time in the Big Sky. She is 21 back of Montana State's Liz Holz, who totaled 340 career steals from 1986-89.
On the Road Again
The Hornets hit the road for their final two games of the season. Sacramento State is still looking for it's first win on the road this season. They have not gone winless on the road since the 2006-07 season. The Hornets average just 66.4 points per game on the road, more than 10 fewer than they do at home (78.1 ppg). They also give up 87.6 points per contest on the road, compared to 76.6 at home.
Sacramento State Top-10 Watch: Points
Maranne Johnson is currently third all-time with 1,558 points for her career. She is 171 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 300. The senior point guard is 66 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 585 made field goals are 17 back of Heidi Carroll's (1982-86) 602. With two games remaining in the regular season, Johnson needs to average over eight made buckets a game to catch Carroll.
-- HornetSports --