WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO WIN THIRD STRAIGHT WEDNESDAY IN THE NEST AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO WIN THIRD STRAIGHT WEDNESDAY IN THE NEST AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO

Women's Basketball Game Notes - 12/4 (PDF)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State women's basketball team and its nation-leading offensive will host the San Francisco Dons on Wednesday in the Nest as they look to improve to 4-1 to start the 2018-19 season.

How To Watch

Hornets vs. San Francisco
Wednesday, Dec. 5 // 7:05 PM PT
The Nest // Sacramento, Calif.
Watch: Pluto.TV (ch. 233)
Live Stats: HornetStats.com
Twitter: @SacStateWBB

All home Sacramento State basketball games and all Big Sky Conference games will be streamed live online at WatchBigSky.com and on Pluto.TV, channel 233. 

All streaming links, news, and updates can also be found by visiting the 2018 Women's Basketball Schedule online at HornetSports.com.

Opening Tip

  • Sacramento State defeated the University of Antelope Valley, 86-80, on Saturday, improving to 3-1 on the season. The 3-1 start is Sacramento State's best since the 2013-14 season, when they went 11-1.
  • Junior guard Hannah Friend continues to pace the Hornets in scoring, putting up a team-leading 22 points in Saturday's win over the Pioneers. Friend's 25.0 points per game this season is the third highest mark in the country. 
  • One game after matching her career-best for rebounds in a single game, junior forward Kenned Nicholas pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds in Sacramento State's win over UAV. Seven of her 11 rebounds were offensive boards. Nicholas is 1st in the country with 7.00 offensive rebounds per game.
  • As a team, Sacramento State collected 66 rebounds in Saturday's win, a new single-game program record. Previously, Sacramento State's single-game rebound record was 64 (2x, 1/2/16 and 12/29/11).
  • The San Francisco Don's come into Wednesday night's contest with a 2-5 overall record. They are 0-2 this season against Big Sky schools with losses vs. Northern Colorado and at Idaho. Last year, the Dons beat the Hornets, 90-76, in San Francisco. 

By the Numbers

51.5: Rebounds per game for Sacramento State, most in all of NCAA Div. I. 

95.0: Points per game averaged by Sacramento State, most in all of NCAA Div. I.

23.0: Offensive rebounds per game for Sacramento State, again, most in all of NCAA Div. I.

About Last Game

Sacramento State held off the University of Antelope Valley, 86-80, in their last game. 

Kenned Nicholas (19 pts, 18 rebs) and Hannah Friend (22 pts, 15 rebs) led the Hornets in the victory, though the rest of the team made many contributions, as well. Tiara Scott again led with five assists while Sarah Abney scored a career-high 10 points with seven rebounds. Both MIlee Enger and Summer Menke each added nine points in the win.

Against San Francisco

Wednesday's matchup against the San Francisco Don's is the 15th since Sacramento State moved to Div. I prior to the 1991-92 season. All-time, the Dons hold a 9-5 edge over Sacramento State. 

The two teams have faced each other in each of the last three seasons with the Dons going 3-0 during that stretch. Sacramento State's last win over San Francisco came during the 2012-13 season, a 68-60 win in the Nest.

Off On The Right Foot

The Hornets are off to a 3-1 start to the season for the first time since the 2013-14 season, Coach Harkleroad's debut season. Sacramento State started that season by going 11-1. 

The Nation's Top Offense

Despite scoring just 86 points in their last game, Sacramento State remains the country's top-scoring offense, averaging 95.0 points per game. The Hornets hold a small lead over the number two team, Oregon State, which is averaging 94.7 points per game. 

The Hornets scored a season-high 109 points in a thrilling win over Illinois on Nov. 24. 

The Nation's Best Rebounders

In addition to ranking first in the nation in points per game, the Hornets are also the NCAA's top rebounding team, averaging 51.5 rebounds per game so far this season.

They are more than one full rebound ahead of the number two team,  Maryland, which averages 50.13 boards per game. 

Kennedy Nicholas (13.8 rebounds/game) and Hannah Friend (9.3 rebounds/game) lead the team. 

Team Rankings At The Top

Sacramento State leads the nation in three separate categories - scoring, rebounds, and offensive rebounds - but rank among the top 10 in the country in two additional categories: Three Point Field Goals per game and Fewest Turnovers. 

Sacramento State's 12.0 threes per game is the second-highest total in the NCAA, one back of national leader DePaul (13.0). Additionally, the Hornets' 66 total turnovers are the seventh fewest in the country, five more than leader Western Mich. (51).

Nicholas Rebounding Leader

Junior forward Kenned Nicholas leads the nation with 7.0 offensive rebounds per game. Additionally, her 13.8 total rebounds per game is the fourth-highest mark in the country. 

Nicholas, who has 55 total rebounds this year, has led the team in rebounds in each of the Hornets' four games. She set a new career-high with 18 rebounds in Sacramento State's last game, an 86-80 win over Antelope Valley. 

It's Raining Threes

For four straight seasons from 2013-2016, Sacramento State led the NCAA in made three-point field goals per game. After a step back last season, the Hornets are again one of the nation's top three-point shooting teams. The team's 12.0 threes per game is first in the Big Sky and second in the NCAA.

Juniors Hannah Friend and Tiara Scott rank second in the Big Sky with 3.00 threes per game while freshman Summer Menke ranks eighth with 2.25 threes per game.

Sacramento State's record - and the NCAA record - for made three-point field goals per game is 12.5, a mark the Hornets achieved in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. 

Grand Theft Basketball

Three Hornets - Summer Menke, Tiara Scott, and Hannah Friend - are among the Top 10 in the Big Sky in steals per game. 

Menke, a freshman, leads the team and is third in the conference with 2.50 steals per game. Scott and Friend, both juniors, are tied for second among the Hornets and are sixth in the Big Sky with 2.00 steals per game. 

As a team, Sacramento State is averaging 13.0 steals per game, 2nd in the Big Sky and 20th in the nation.

Friend Third in Scoring

Junior guard Hannah Friend is third in all of NCAA Div. I women's basketball with a 25.0 points per game. She has scored at least 20 points in every game this season, including a season-high 33 against Illinois on Nov. 24. 

Friend led the team last season with 17.5 points per game while scoring a season total of 525 points. That number was the fifth-highest in Hornets' single season history.

Abney's Breakout Performance

True freshman Sarah Abney had a breakout performance in Sacramento State's win over Antelope Valley, setting new career highs in both points (10) and rebounds (seven). The guard from Las Cruces, N.M. played a season-high 16 minutes in the 86-80 win.

Double-Double

Kennedy Nicholas recorded her second double-double of the season against Antelope Valley. She is the team's active leader with seven career double-doubles. 

Hannah Friend recorded her first double-double of the season last Saturday, giving her four for her career.

Starting Streak

Hannah Friend and Tiara Scott come into Wednesday night's games having started 17 and 15 games straight, respectively, dating back to last season. Last year, the Hornets used just nine different starting lineups, the fewest in a single season under coach Harkleroad.

Playing Them Close

All three of Sacramento State's wins this season have come by six or fewer points. They defeated Cal Poly by three, Illinois by two, and Antelope Valley by six. Their one loss was a 16-point loss to Pepperdine.

Including the team's 106-103 exhibition win over William Jessup, the Hornets' four wins are by an average of 3.5 points. 

Defend the Nest

Dating back to last season, Sacramento State has won three straight games in the Nest and five of their last six at home. Among those wins are a 15-point victory over Montana and an 11-point victory over Montana State. 

A Refreshed Roster

The Sacramento State women's basketball team opens the 2018-19 season with 17 active players on the roster, its most ever under head coach Bunky Harkleroad (sixth season). Last season, Sacramento State had 11 active players (plus two redshirts). Because of injuries, the Hornets spent much of last season with just eight available players.

International Influence

Three of Sacramento State's newcomers are from outside the United States. Claire Bady, a transfer from Eastern Florida, is originally from France, while Emily Enochs comes to Sacramento State from Germany. Julynne de Silva Sa, a transfer from Northwest College, is from Brazil.

Big Sky Gets a Little Smaller

With the departure of North Dakota from the Big Sky, the Big Sky Conference now includes 11 women's basketball programs. While the total number of conference games remains the same as last season (20), those 20 games now features a home-and-home with each of the other 10 teams. 

Big Sky Preseason Poll

Sacramento State was selected ninth in both the Big Sky's Coaches Preseason Poll and Media Preseason Poll. The Hornets received 28 total points in the Coaches Poll, 10 behind Weber State for the ninth spot. In the Media Poll, Sacramento State received 57 points, a full 43 back of Weber State.  

- HornetSports.com -