SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Montana used a 35-12 run over the final 14 minutes of the first half, and outscored the Hornets, 21-7, in points off turnovers on the way to a 70-55 victory over Sacramento State on Thursday night at The Nest.
The loss was the third straight for Sacramento State, and dropped the team to 13-15 overall and 9-10 in the Big Sky. The Hornets' chances of clinching their first Big Sky Tournament berth since 2006 took a big hit as well. Sacramento State closes the regular season at home against Montana State on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The top seven teams in the 11-member Big Sky qualify for the league's postseason tournament, and Weber State (13-6), Montana (12-7), North Dakota (12-8) and Northern Arizona (11-8) have all clinched spots. There are five teams still jockeying for the final three playoff spots, and Sacramento State is in that mix.
There are two scenarios that get the Hornets into the Big Sky Tournament....
1. Sacramento State wins, and Eastern Washington loses at home to Weber State.
2. Sacramento State wins, and both Portland State and Northern Colorado lose to Idaho State and Southern Utah, respectively.
Tonight's loss also snapped Sacramento State's seven-game home winning streak, which tied for the longest in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.). Just three games ago, the Hornets throttled Northern Colorado to improve to 9-7 in the Big Sky and things were looking good for a playoff berth. However, Sacramento State dropped a pair of road games last week, and no longer controls its own destiny for a playoff spot.
Montana, which is the hottest team in the league, won its fifth straight while improving to 17-11 overall and 12-7 in the Big Sky. The Grizzlies have won each of the last 15 meetings against the Hornets dating back to 2007.
In tonight's game, Montana used a monster first half that saw the Grizzlies shoot .630 (17-27) from the field and outscore the Hornets in points off turnovers by an 18-2 margin. By the time the 35-12 run ended at the first half buzzer, Montana was in control, leading, 43-24, at halftime. The halftime deficit was the largest of the season for Sacramento State.
In the second half, the Hornets cut the lead to nine points (53-44) on a Jordan Salley dunk with 9:15 to play, but Sacramento State would get no closer. The Grizzlies led by at least nine points the final 27:53 of the contest.
The Hornets entered the game as one of the best teams in the conference in limiting the turnovers, but had problems all evening with their handle. In fact, the team's 15 turnovers were tied for the third most all season. Many of those 15 turnovers were unforced miscues as the Grizzlies finished with just five steals.
Montana finished the game shooting .543 (25-46) from the field, .400 (8-20) from the 3-point line and .706 (12-17) from the free throw line. Sacramento State, which had a 28-25 edge in the rebounding department, finished .465 (20-43) from the floor, and .313 (5-16) from the 3-point line. The Grizzlies bench also outscored the Hornet bench, 33-13.
Hornet junior Mikh McKinney was limited to just 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting, his lowest scoring output in 12 games. Junior Dylan Garrity led Sacramento State with 18 points, including 4-of-7 from the 3-point line. Salley added eight points, Zach Mills had seven points, and Nick Hornsby tallied five points, five rebounds and two steals.
For Montana, Jordan Gregory's 18 points led the way as the junior guard went 6-for-10 from the 3-point line. In fact, he striped six of the Grizzlies' eight made treys, including a three ball with 3:21 to play after the Hornets had cut the lead to 10 points. He was joined in double digits by Kareem Jamar (10 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Keron DeShields (10 points, five rebounds). Both Mario Dunn and Mike Weisner added seven points.
Saturday's game against Montana State will begin at 7:05 p.m. The Hornets will honor seniors Salley, Kendell Groom and Joey Quigley prior to the game for their contributions to the program.
NOTES -- Tonight was the first sellout of the season as 1,146 fans were in attendance…McKinney has scored in double figures in 12 straight games, and has scored at least nine points in 18 consecutive games.
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