SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State scored a season-high 87 points, including 26 points from Mikh McKinney and 15 from both Zach Mills and Dreon Barlett on the way to an 87-70 victory over Northern Arizona on Thursday evening at The Nest.
The Hornets' 87 points surpassed their previous season high of 85, set against William Jessup. Sacramento State was proficient from the field (.592, 29-for-49), the 3-point line (.500, 8-for-16) and the free throw line (.724, 21-of-29). The Hornets never trailed the entire way, opening the game on an 11-2 run and never looking back.
Sacramento State (9-11, 5-6) is now 3-0 on its current season-long four-game homestand, and the three-game winning streak is the longest since opening last season with a 3-0 record. In addition, the three-game conference winning streak is the longest since winning four in a row near the conclusion of the 2011-12 season. The Hornets wrap up the homestand against Southern Utah on Monday at 7:05 p.m.
Not only did the Hornets set a season best in points, they also played well defensively, tallying a season-high 11 steals which led to a 32-14 advantage in points off turnovers. Northern Arizona committed 20 turnovers, the most forced by Sacramento State this season.
"We really jumped out of gates aggressively in the first half and forced them to play from behind," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "Our guys are playing with a lot of confidence right now, and really starting to believe in themselves. Can we get better? Absolutely. But right now, our guys feel pretty good about themselves, and that's never a bad thing."
Sacramento State opened up a first-half lead as large as 14 points before NAU ripped off a 15-8 run to close the half and trail at halftime, 41-34. The Hornets started the second half strong, using a 15-3 run which included 3-pointers from McKinney and Mills to open up a 19-point lead with 16:04 left.
The Lumberjacks (9-13, 6-5) stormed back, eventually cutting the Hornet lead all the way down to 69-63 with 7:08 to play, but McKinney answered with a 3-pointer and Sacramento State never looked back. The Hornets closed the final 6:29 of the contest on an 18-7 spurt to provide the 17-point margin of victory.
McKinney finished with 26 points, six rebounds and four assists in a game-high 37 minutes. He shot 10-for-16 from the field and 3-for-6 from the 3-point line. Over the last three games, the Union City, Calif., native has gone on an all-out assault of the Big Sky, scoring 28, 30 and 26 points, respectively. The 30 points matched a career high and came against the league's best team in Weber State. During the three-game stretch, McKinney is averaging 28.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting .600 (30-50) from the field, .545 (6-11) from the 3-point line and .818 (18-22) from the free throw line. He is now averaging 16.5 points in conference games, the eighth best mark in the Big Sky.
Barlett's 15 points were easily a career high, surpassing his previous best of eight points. The Pasadena, Calif., native shot 4-for-6 from the field, 2-for-2 from distance and 5-of-6 from the free throw line while also snatching a career-high three steals. Mills' 15 points came on 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-3 from the 3-point stripe.
One game after hitting the 75-foot shot heard around the world, Dylan Garrity finished with seven points and season highs in both assists (10) and steals (3). Cody Demps and Jordan Salley both added eight points, and Alex Tiffin had four points and five rebounds.
Northern Arizona, which shot .535 from the field but had just two 3-pointers and the 20 turnovers, was led by Aaseem Dixon's 14 points. Gaellan Bewernick (13) and Quinton Upshur (12) also scored in double figures for the Lumberjacks. Max Jacobsen, who entered the game as NAU's second leading scorer at 13.6 ppg, was held scoreless in just nine minutes of play.
NOTES -- Sacramento State was outrebounded, 26-23, marking the first time the team has won when being outrebounded this season (1-8)…the Hornets committed just 11 turnovers, and have now committed 12 turnovers or less in eight straight games…the two teams combined for 52 fouls and 64 free throw attempts in this evening's game…tonight was Hornet true freshman Eric Stuteville's 19th birthday. He finished with two points and two rebounds in 13 minutes…the Hornets had lost 17 of the last 18 meetings against Northern Arizona prior to tonight.
May 23, 2014 HORNET HOOPS GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR MONDAY, JUNE 9
April 28, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS TO HOST SEASON WRAPUP/SIGNING PARTY ON MAY 8
March 10, 2014 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR BIG SKY MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
February 28, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD GAME SATURDAY AT IDAHO ST.
February 27, 2014 WINNING STREAK SNAPPED, MEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS AT WEBER STATE, 79-67
February 26, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO WEBER STATE ON THURSDAY, SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN
February 24, 2014 VOTE GARRITY’S 75-FOOT SHOT FOR GEICO PLAY OF THE YEAR
February 24, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR A SECOND TIME
February 22, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL CONTINUES TO ROLL AFTER CRUSHING NORTHERN COLORADO
February 21, 2014 FREE WHITEOUT SHIRTS TO THE FIRST 500 FANS AT SATURDAY’S HOOPS GAME
February 21, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 7TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN SATURDAY VS. NORTHERN COLO.
February 19, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 6TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN THURSDAY VS. NORTH DAKOTA
February 14, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO PORTLAND STATE ON SATURDAY
February 13, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL HAS WINNING STREAK SNAPPED AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 12, 2014 WINNERS OF FOUR STRAIGHT, MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 10, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS BEATS SOUTHERN UTAH, COMPLETES HOMESTAND WITH 4-0 RECORD
February 9, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN, HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH ON MONDAY
February 6, 2014 WINNING STREAK AT THREE AFTER MEN’S HOOPS DISMANTLES NAU, 87-70
February 5, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA
February 3, 2014 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
January 31, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S SIXTH-ANNUAL ALUMNI GAMES TAKE PLACE SATURDAY
January 31, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS HOST BIG SKY-LEADING WEBER STATE ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 29, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS LONG HOMESTAND THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
January 25, 2014 BIG DISPARITIES HURT IN MEN’S HOOPS LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
January 24, 2014 ROAD WEARY MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS AT NORTHERN COLORADO ON SATURDAY
January 23, 2014 NORTH DAKOTA USES LATE RUN TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
January 21, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL BACK ON THE ROAD THURSDAY AT NORTH DAKOTA
January 18, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF EASTERN WASHINGTON AT HOME, 75-64
January 17, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 15, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS FINALLY RETURNS HOME, HOSTS PORTLAND STATE ON THURSDAY
January 11, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS CRUSHES SOUTHERN UTAH, ENDS ROAD TRIP IN A BIG WAY
January 10, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS ROAD TRIP COMES TO AN END SATURDAY AT SOUTHERN UTAH
January 8, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS CONTINUES ROAD TRIP THURSDAY AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
January 2, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL DROPS BIG SKY OPENER AT MONTANA STATE
December 31, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THURSDAY AT MONTANA STATE
December 29, 2013 LATE FREE THROWS HELP DELIVER 69-67 MEN’S HOOPS WIN OVER UC RIVERSIDE
December 27, 2013 AFTER LONG LAYOFF, MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UC RIVERSIDE SUNDAY AFTERNOON
December 21, 2013 BIG SECOND HALF FUELS CAL STATE FULLERTON TO VICTORY OVER MEN’S HOOPS
December 19, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYS AT CAL STATE FULLERTON ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
December 14, 2013 MEN’S HOOPS CRUISES TO 85-54 WIN OVER WILLIAM JESSUP
December 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS WILLIAM JESSUP ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
December 7, 2013 UTEP USES HEALTHY FREE THROW ADVANTAGE TO BEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
December 4, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EL PASO FOR FIRST EVER MEETING WITH UTEP
November 30, 2013 UC IRVINE USES BIG SECOND HALF TO DEFEAT MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 29, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS UC IRVINE SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
November 26, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL COMES THROUGH WITH CLUTCH WIN AT UC DAVIS, 73-67
November 25, 2013 MEN'S HOOPS AND UC DAVIS TO PLAY FOR THE 112TH TIME ON TUESDAY
November 18, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO #22 UCLA
November 15, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO #24 UCLA ON MONDAY
November 13, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS MIRA COSTA HIGH SCHOOL FORWARD JUSTIN STRINGS
November 13, 2013 BAKERSFIELD HOT FROM DISTANCE IN 74-66 WIN OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
November 12, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL BEGINS ROAD TRIP WEDNESDAY AT CSU BAKERSFIELD
November 8, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS UC SANTA CRUZ, 73-43, IN SEASON OPENER
November 6, 2013 MEN'S BASKETBALL GETS UNDERWAY FRIDAY NIGHT VS. UC SANTA CRUZ
November 5, 2013 2013-14 MEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE
October 28, 2013 2013-14 MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON OUTLOOK
October 17, 2013 BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES AND MEDIA PRESEASON POLLS RELEASED
September 24, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMING FAST, FIRST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
July 23, 2013 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2013-14 SCHEDULE