FRIEND HITS MILESTONE, BUT WOMEN’S HOOPS FALLS AT HOME TO NORTHERN COLORADO

FRIEND HITS MILESTONE, BUT WOMEN’S HOOPS FALLS AT HOME TO NORTHERN COLORADO

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Hannah Friend drained a three-pointer from the corner, giving her 897 points as a Hornet and 1,001 in her NCAA career. The junior guard would finish with 20 on Monday, bringing her to 1,006 overall, but it wasn't enough as the high-powered Northern Colorado Bears defeated Sacramento State, 71-61, in the Nest.

Friend entered Monday night's contest with 882 points in a Hornet uniform and 104 from her one season with Delaware. After a slow first half in which she scored just four points, Friend opened things up in the second half, scoring 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.

She broke the 1,000-point mark with a corner three with 3:00 minutes remaining in the game. In addition to her team-high 20 points, Friend also pulled down nine rebounds to go with an assist, two blocks, and two steals.

Friend now has 902 career points as a Hornet and, with eight games remaining in the regular season, is on pace to become just the 14th player in program history to join the 1,000 point club. She would also become the first to reach the mark in her two seasons with the Hornets.

Tiara Scott also reached a significant mark in Hornets history, collecting a team-high five assists on Monday and moving into a tie for seventh on the all-time Hornets assist list. The junior point guard, who averages 4.4 assists per game, now has 278 for her career, tied with former Hornet Alle Moreno. She is just nine back of sixth in program history.

Kennedy Nicholas continued to get work done for the Hornets, recording her Big Sky-leading 11th double-double of the season on Monday. The junior forward scored 16 points to go with a team-high 12 rebounds. 

In a team-high 35 minutes, Nicholas also added two steals while racking up a season-high five blocks. She finished just one shy of her career-best six blocks, a mark she reached last year on the road at Montana. Just this season, Nicholas has two or more blocks in 12 of her 20 games.

Raegen Rohn and Tiana Johnson each finished with seven for the Hornets. Rohn, who went 1-for-2 at the line, was 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. She also added a steal and two rebounds to her line. Johnson was 3-for-5 overall, including 1-for-3 from distance.

Despite strong efforts from Friend and Nicholas, the Hornets were unable to keep pace with a strong Northern Colorado team Monday night, ultimately falling, 71-61. As has been the case on multiple occasions this season, one unfortunate quarter proved to be the difference maker.

After trailing 18-15 at the end of the first quarter, Sacramento State scored just nine points in the second while Northern Colorado pulled ahead to a 39-24 lead. Although Sacramento State kept outscored the Bears, 37-32, in the second half, the damage was done and the Hornets were unable to recover.

The nine-point second quarter was Sacramento State's eighth single-digit scoring quarter of the season. They are 0-8 in those games.

The Hornets piled up nine total blocks on Monday, a new season high, passing their previous high of eight against Antelope Valley back in December. 

As a team, Sacramento State shot 37.9%, above their season average of 35.8%, though they struggled from three, going just 5-for-21 (23.8%).

Northern Colorado shot just a little bit better, going 39.1% from the floor. They were led by three0time Big Sky Player of the Week and reigning Big Sky MVP, Savannah Smith, who scored 30 on 11-of-22 shooting. It was the fifth 30+ point game for Smith this season.

Sacramento State will head out on the road for the next two weeks, as they don't play in the Nest until Saturday, Feb. 23. Until then, the Hornets will make stops at Southern Utah on Valentine's Day, at Northern Arizona on Feb. 16, and at Weber State on Feb. 20.

Thursday's game at Southern Utah is set for a 5:35 pm PT tip off. The game will stream live online at Pluto.TV and on WatchBigSky.com. More details, including times, notes, and links to watch, can be found online at HornetSports.com.