OGDEN, Utah – Kennedy Nicholas piled up the blocks Wednesday afternoon, collecting seven total - a new career-high - as the Hornets took down the Weber State Wildcats, 78-69, at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah.
The win - Sacramento State's third on the road against a conference opponent this season - moves them to 10-13 overall on the season and 6-9 in conference play. For Weber State, the loss drops them to 5-21 overall and 2-14 in the Big Sky.
The win was also just Sacramento State's sixth ever in Ogden. All-time, the Hornets are now 6-16 when playing on the Wildcats' home court.
Sacramento State took their first lead Wednesday with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter and never gave it back. They continued to build their lead in the second quarter and took a 39-30 advantage into the break. In the second half, they pushed that lead to as much as 14 late in the third quarter.
Weber State refused to go away, though, climbing back to within six with less than a minute remaining. The Hornets effectively closed the door on the Wildcats with free throws, including three by Raegen Rohn inside 30 seconds remaining. In total, Sacramento State led for the final 28:34 of game time.
Nicholas came into Wednesday's matinee matchup against the Wildcats averaging just over two blocks per game and has four or more in three of her last seven. On Wednesday, she couldn't be stopped as she amassed seven total blocks against the Wildcats, setting a new career record in the process.
Previously, Nicholas's personal record was six blocks in a game, a mark she reached just once before, last season at Montana. Prior to Wednesday's seven, the junior had a five-block game and four four-block games this season.
Kennedy Nicholas picks up her seventh block of the game in the fourth quarter, setting a new career high! #StingersUp #Team54— Sacramento State Women's Basketball (@SacStateWBB) February 20, 2019
Previous high was six, set at Montana last season. pic.twitter.com/nY0UxqGLoN
Her seven blocks Wednesday were one shy of matching the program record for blocks in a Big Sky Conference game. That record is held by Kristine Knowlton, who totaled eight blocks on the road at Montana State in 2003.
It also put her over 100 career blocks, making her just the fifth player in program history to reach the 100-block milestone.
Nicholas also added 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting and pulled down nine total rebounds, four of them off the offensive glass. She was one rebound shy of her 13th double-double of the season.
Hannah Friend had another big game for the Hornets, scoring 21 points on 6-of-17 shooting, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, while pulling in nine rebounds of her own.
Friend has eclipsed the 20-point mark in 12 of her 23 games this season, including each of the last four. She is averaging 19.2 points per game, good for the fourth-best in the Big Sky this season.
With 21 points on Wednesday, Friend also continued her climb toward joining the Hornets 1,000 Point Club. Friend now has 967 career points with Sacramento State and needs just 33 more to become the 14th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark. She would also be the first player to do so in her first two seasons with the program.
Milee Enger, who is from Herriman, Utah, just an hour away from Ogden, had a chance to play in front of her friends and family Wednesday. The freshman point guard made her fourth start of the season and tied for the team lead with four assists. She scored eight points - one off her career-high - and pulled in three rebounds before fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Gabi Bade as the other Hornet with four assists. Like Enger, she also had eight points and three rebounds, but also added a steal to her stat line in the win.
Sacramento State shot 39.7% (27-68) as a team in the win, including 34.6% (9-26) from beyond the arc. They also shot 71.4% (15-21) from the free throw line. The Hornets were better than the Wildcats in all three of those categories, and also beat them in assists (14 to 9), steals (6 to 4), and blocks (8 to 6).
Wednesday's midday matchup at Weber State was the third of a three-game stretch on the road for the Hornets. They started the trip with a win on Valentine's Day at Southern Utah before dropping a hard-fought, 71-69 game at Northern Arizona this last Saturday.
They will now return home for three straight, starting with Portland State in the Nest on Saturday, Feb. 23. Tip off on Saturday is set for 2:05 pm and the game will stream live online at Pluto.TV. More details, including times, notes, and links to watch, can be found online at HornetSports.com.