- ON THE ROAD AGAIN Sacramento State will interrupt its extended home stand with a single road game at Portland State on Saturday, Jan. 15. The game against the Vikings is the only contest away from home for the team between Dec. 30-Jan. 24. During the stretch, the Hornets will play five of six games on the home floor. That stretch comes after the team played seven straight games away from home.
- LYING IN WAIT Portland State hasn’t played a game since Dec. 19 when it defeated Simpson, 73-45. The Vikings have had four consecutive Big Sky games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols and have played just five of 10 scheduled games since Dec. 1.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
at Portland State
Saturday, January 15 || 12:00 p.m. PT
Viking Pavilion || Portland, Ore.
Live Stats: HornetStats.com
All Sacramento State women’s basketball home games and all Big Sky Conference basketball games will stream live online on ESPN+. All streaming links, news, and updates can always be found by visiting the 2021-22 Women’s Basketball Schedule at HornetSports.com.
AT A GLANCE
- Sacramento State will look for its first Big Sky win of the season when the Hornets travel to Portland State for a Saturday afternoon tilt at 12 p.m. Sacramento State enters the game with a 4-9 overall record and is 0-4 in Big Sky play.
- The team returns home for a three-game stretch over five days when it hosts Eastern Washington (Jan. 20), Idaho (Jan. 22) and Northern Colorado (Jan. 24).
A LOOK AT THE VIKINGS
- Portland State enters this week with a 5-5 overall record and an 0-2 mark in the Big Sky Conference. The Vikings have not played since a 73-45 win over Simpson on Dec. 19.
- The Vikings started the season by winning their first three games with wins over Warner Pacific, Dixie State and Prairie View A&M. In two conference games, PSU lost at home to Idaho State (83-40) and Weber State (85-57).
- As a team, Portland State is averaging 65.2 points per game while surrendering 66.5. The Vikings are shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 35.0 from three-point range.
- Esmeralda Morales paces the team with an average of 14.3 points per game which ranks fourth in the Big Sky. The freshman started her collegiate career with 32 points against Warner Pacific and has scored 21 against Pepperdine and 20 against Hawaii. Morales has also been deadly from the free-throw line where she has made 28-of-30 attempts.
- Savannah Dhaliwal ranks second on the team at 11.0 ppg and leads the Vikings with 6.1 rebounds per game.
- Chelsey Gregg is in her first season as the head coach at Portland State. Gregg spent the previous six years as the top assistant for the team.
ABOUT LAST GAME
- Lianna Tillman led a trio of Hornets in double figures as she poured in 21 points in Sacramento State’s 68-57 loss to Northern Arizona on Jan. 10 at The Nest.
- NAU never trailed in the contest building a 21-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Hornets rallied at the start of the second quarter to draw within three, 23-20, but were outscored 11-5 over the final seven minutes.
- After a back-to-back baskets from Tillman pulled Sacramento State within seven early in the third quarter, NAU responded with an 8-0 run midway through the period to lead 48-33. The Lumberjacks then ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 20-point advantage (58-38) into the fourth quarter.
- The Hornets outscored the Lumberjacks, 19-10, in the final 10 minutes, limiting NAU to 4-of-12 shooting, while making 7-of-13 of their own field goals.
- As a team, Sacramento State was 23-of-54 from the field (42.6 percent), 4-of-16 from beyond the arc and 7-of-12 from the free throw line.
- The Lumberjacks were guided by a combined 30 points from sisters Olivia (17) and Nyah Moran (13).
TILLMAN ON TOP
- Lianna Tillman leads Sacramento State and the Big Sky Conference in four different statistical categories: scoring, field goals made, field goals attempted and minutes per game.
- Tillman averages 18.3 points per game, most in the conference and 44th in the nation.
- Tillman has made 94 field goals, most in the league and 53rd in the nation.
- She has attempted a 234 field goals which places her 22nd nationally.
- Tillman averages 37.8 minutes per game, most in the conference and eighth in the nation.
- Tillman came to Sacramento State from nearby Pacific (Stockton, Calif.). She started 36 games in her four years with the Tigers but never averaged more than 7.1 points per game.
- In 90 career games at Pacific, Tillman never scored more than 16 points in a game. In 13 games at Sacramento State this season, she has scored 16 or more nine times. The Stockton, Calif., native leads the Hornets with four 20-plus point games this season and is tied for the team lead with 11 games in double figures.
- Sacramento State has posted two of its highest totals for blocked shots this season in the last two games. The team started the streak with a season high seven rejections against Southern Utah and added four more on Monday against Northern Arizona.
- Against SUU, Isnelle Natabou had a career best five blocked shots while Tillman and Alicja Falkowska each had one. Freshman Katie Peneueta provided the majority of the blocked shots against NAU as she had a career best three with Natabou providing the remaining block.
- Sacramento State averaged 1.9 blocks per game over the first 11 contests of the season but has had 5.5 per game over the last two games.
START TO FINISH
- With three players averaging over 30 minutes per game and five playing more than 28 minutes per contest, it is no surprise that the Hornets have a large discrepancy between production from their starters and players off the bench.
- Sacramento State’s starting five have outscored the opposition’s starters by 104 points this year. Conversely, the team has been outperformed in bench points in all 13 games by a total of 170 points.
- Tillman has been the leader in terms of minutes played this season as she’s averaging 37.9 minutes per game. She is followed by Summer Menke (34.4) and Isnelle Natabou (30.0).
- Natabou, Menke and Summer Rios have started all 13 games for the team this season while Tillman has earned the start in all 12 games in which she’s appeared. The only other player to start more than five games this season is senior Jazzy Carrasco (9).
- Through 13 games this season, Sacramento State has only played the same players in consecutive games one time. The Hornets have used 11 players this year in the team’s 12 games. The two tournament games at UC Irvine (Illinois State, UCI) saw the Hornets play the same eight players in both games.
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN
- Summer Menke currently stands at 913 career points and needs just 87 more to become the 15th player in school history to break 1,000 points.
- Menke ranks third on the team in scoring this season and is coming off a strong 2020-21 campaign which saw her lead the team with 13.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 31.7 minutes per game. She totaled 330 points during the year after scoring 292 as a sophomore in 2019-20.
- This season, Menke is averaging 13.2 points per game while scoring in double digits in 10 of the last 11 contests.
- The last time Sacramento State honored a 1,000 point scorer came in 2017-18 when Maranne Johnson and Hannah Friend each achieved the milestone.
NATABOU IN DOUBLE DIGITS AGAIN
- Freshman Isnelle Natabou has scored in double digits in four consecutive games and six of the last seven following an 11 point effort against Northern Arizona.
- Despite battling foul trouble and being limited to just over 23 minutes in the game, Natabou made 5-of-8 field goal attempts and was 1-of-1 from the free-throw line. She also had a team-high tying six rebounds against NAU. That effort followed a career-high 31 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots against Southern Utah. In that game, Natabou was 11-of-15 from the field and scored 22 points in the second half.
- Natabou’s 31 points are the most score by a Hornet since 2018 when Hannah Friend scored 33 in a win over Illinois on Nov. 24.
- Since 1995, Natabou is just the third Sacramento State player to score at least 30 points without attempting a three-pointer, joining Kylie Kuhns (30 points vs. Fresno State, 11/4/10) and Kennedy Nicholas (30 points at UC Davis, 11/26.19).
- Natabou’s five blocked shots were the most by a player who scored 30 points in a game since Heidi Carroll had 42 points and seven blocks against Chico State on Jan. 22, 1986.
- The Czech Republic native currently leads in the Big Sky rebounding (9.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (58.5), ranks third in blocked shots (1.4 bpg) and is seventh in scoring (13.5 ppg).
CAMPBELL’S FIRST VICTORY
- Sacramento State head coach Mark Campbell recorded his first win as a head coach on Sunday, Nov. 14 against San Jose State. Campbell has a long history of winning, serving as an associate head coach for teams that won multiple conference titles and advanced to multiple NCAA Tournaments at Oregon and Oregon State, but the first year head coach now has an official win of his own.
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