Women's Hoops Set for Shootout at Sacramento State
Opponent: Sacramento State (Thursday, Jan. 9/8:00 p.m.)
Location: The Nest - Sacramento, Calif.
Live Stats: www.hornetsports.com
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Northern Arizona women's basketball team heads to Sacramento for a short trip this week, taking on one of the nation's highest scoring teams on Thursday. The Lumberjacks visit Sacramento State at 8 p.m. with eyes on snapping their five-game losing streak which includes two losses to open Big Sky play last week. It will be a quick turnaround for NAU as this will be its only game this week before returning home to host Southern Utah next Monday.
The Lumberjacks dropped three games last week at home to LIU Brooklyn, Montana and Montana State and fell to 0-2 in the opening week of conference play. Senior Amanda Frost extended her streak of 20-point games to five as she averaged 24.3 points per game last week. Freshman Rene Coggins had a breakout game versus Montana with a career-high 16 points and freshman Brittani Lusain recorded a double-double with 16 points and a career-best 13 rebounds versus Montana State.
Series History: NAU has lost three of the last four meetings against Sacramento State since sweeping the season series during the 2010-11 season. Last year, the Lumberjacks rallied back from double-digit deficits in both games but came up short. In Sacramento, the Hornets claimed a 73-67 victory and they followed that up with a 78-68 win in Flagstaff. The Lumberjacks still hold an overall 28-10 advantage over the Hornets though in large part because they won 18 consecutive games between the 1997-98 and 2005-06 seasons.
Frost averaged 17.0 points in the two games last season, including a game-high 18 in Sacramento, and junior Erikka Banks had her best game of the season in the contest in Flagstaff. Banks recorded her first career double-double with 25 points, which is still a career-best, 14 rebounds a career-high seven steals off the bench. Junior Raven Anderson had 14 points and seven rebounds in the first meeting in just 19 minutes of play.
Coach Sue Darling Quote of the Week: "Sac State is a quality team. They're 10-1 and they've had some quality wins so far. They play a very different style than the teams we have played and will play this year. They're up tempo with 40 minutes of pressure defense, 40 minutes of driving the lane to get layups and drawing the defense to pitch to threes. It's going to be a fun, challenging game for us and we need to stay mentally focused for 40 minutes."
About Sacramento State (10-1, 2-0 Big Sky): Sacramento State has the best overall mark in the conference at 10-1 and is one of two teams remaining with an unbeaten Big Sky record, with North Dakota at 3-0, after sweeping Montana and Montana State at home last week. The Hornets, averaging 93.4 points per game which is third-best in the country, own victories over San Diego State and Oregon this season and has topped 90 points in eight of 11 games.
The Hornets attempt 43 shots behind the arc per game and leads the nation with 14.5 made three-pointers per game. They also lead the nation in steals per game at 16.4 and is third in the country in turnover margin at +10.27. Five players average double-digit points led by senior Alle Moreno's 16.9 per game, which ranks fifth in the Big Sky. Junior Fantasia Hilliard averages 7.6 assists per game, which is fifth in the country, and four players average more than two steals per game. Freshman Margaret Huntington ranks fourth in the Big Sky at 8.4 rebounds per game.
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