MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-1 WITH 97-63 VICTORY OVER BRISTOL

MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-1 WITH 97-63 VICTORY OVER BRISTOL

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Five Hornets scored in double figures, led by senior Mikh McKinney's game-high 22 points, as Sacramento State cruised to a 97-63 victory over Bristol in a non-conference men's basketball game Tuesday evening at The Nest.

With the victory, Sacramento State won its third straight while improving its record to 3-1 on the young season. In addition, the Hornets improved to 23-7 at home dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season. In Sacramento State's last four home wins (dating back to last year), the team has outscored the opposition by an average of 28.0 points per contest.

Bristol, which hails from Anaheim and is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), dropped to 1-5 with the loss. Tonight marked the first time the Hornets and Bears have faced each other.

Sacramento State was in control throughout tonight's contest, leading by double figures the final 28:36 of the game and opening up a lead as large as 40 points with seven minutes to play. The Hornets outscored the Bears, 54-10, inside the paint, while also holding sizeable advantages in second chance points (15-4), fast break points (12-2) and points off the bench (39-16). Sacramento State ripped off a 31-5 run, capped by a free throw from Nick Hornsby, to take its largest lead of the evening at 81-41 with 7:08 remaining.

The Hornets shot a blistering .623 (38-61) from the field, including .760 (19-25) in the second half. Sacramento State has now shot at least .547 from the field in three straight games and improved its season field goal percentage to a Big Sky Conference-best .521. The Hornets also converted on 8-of-17 attempts (.471) from the 3-point line, outrebounded the Bears by a 42-22 margin and had 25 assists on 38 made buckets.

The .623 mark was the team's best single-game field goal percentage in the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.), besting the previous mark of .622, set on Feb. 9, 2012, against Montana State.

Sacramento State had balanced scoring as nine different players scored at least five points, and five of those players went for double digits. McKinney's 22 points came on 9-of-10 shooting from the field and accompanied six assists and two steals. McKinney would have gone 10-for-10 from the field but missed a breakaway dunk.

He was joined in double figures by big men Eric Stuteville (12 points, seven rebounds) and Alex Tiffin (12 points on 5-of-6 shooting), as well as senior Dylan Garrity (11 points, four assists) and junior Cody Demps (10 points, 10 rebounds). The double-double for Demps was the second of his career. Garrity is now just nine points shy of becoming the 12th player in school history to notch 1,000 career points.

"We moved the ball really well tonight, had 25 assists, and had some offensive rebound putbacks," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "We had a few too many turnovers (13), but other than that, I thought tonight was a pretty good effort from the team. Overall, we have some improvements to make, but we are in a decent spot right now for this early in the season."

Four Hornets had at least seven rebounds, including senior Zach Mills (seven points, 10 rebounds in 15 minutes) and Hornsby (seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in 18 minutes). The 10 rebounds were a career high for Mills and he has now led or tied for the team lead in rebounding three consecutive games. Junior Dreon Barlett and freshman Justin Strings both added six points.

Thirteen of Sacramento State's 14 players on the roster played in tonight's game, and 12 of those players received at least seven minutes of action.

The Hornets will wrap up their three-game homestand on Monday against Utah Valley. Tip-off against the Wolverines is set for 7:05 p.m.

NOTES -- Demps was a robust +40 in tonight's game as the Hornets outscored Bristol, 72-32, when he was on the floor…the 97 points were the most during the Katz era (2008-pres.), and the most since the team defeated Simpson, 104-71, at the beginning of the 2007-08 season.