SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Five Hornets scored in double figures tonight, led by Mikh McKinney's game-high 21 points, as Sacramento State defeated Southern Utah, 90-75, in a Big Sky Conference men's basketball game Saturday evening at the Nest.
With the victory, Sacramento State won its third straight game while improving to 8-5 overall and 2-0 in the Big Sky. The Hornets' 8-5 record is their best after 13 games since the 2005-06 squad also accomplished the feat, and the team is 2-0 in the Big Sky for just the second time since joining the conference prior to the 1996-97 season.
In addition, Sacramento State improved to 6-1 at home, has won 14 of its last 16 games inside the Nest dating back to last season, and has won 10 of its last 12 home games against Big Sky opposition dating back to last year.
In a game in which Sacramento State led from start to finish, the Hornets posted season highs in field goals made (38), field goals attempted (62) and assists (25). In addition, the team's 90 points, its field goal percentage of .613, and blocked shots (7) were the second best marks of the year.
The Hornets posted their most points in the first half this season after racing to a 52-37 halftime lead, and finished the game shooting .613 (38-62) from the field, .500 (4-8) from the 3-point line and .833 (10-12) from the free throw line. That included sizeable advantages in points in the paint (54-28), points off turnovers (16-6), second chance points (13-8) and fast break points (6-0). The Hornets also held a 35-24 advantage in the rebounding department and committed just three turnovers the entire way. That breaks down to better than 8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in tonight's game.
Sacramento State opened the game on a 10-2 run and never looked back, leading by at least six points the rest of the game. Southern Utah (3-10, 0-2) was able to slice a 52-37 halftime deficit all the way down to eight points (77-69) with 3:36 remaining, but the Hornets finished the final 3:07 of the contest on a 13-6 run. In fact, Sacramento State scored on seven of its final eight possessions to help put the game away.
"When you have 25 assists and just three turnovers while shooting 61 percent from the field, you can't get much better offensively and I was really pleased with that," Sacramento State seventh-year head coach Brian Katz said. "I was excited the convincing way we outrebounded Southern Utah, and we got very good production from a lot of players tonight.
"Having said all of that, the thing I was most excited about was the way we executed down the stretch after Southern Utah cut the lead to eight points. That was some of the best execution I've seen during my time here."
Southern Utah was able to stay within striking distance by shooting .458 (27-59) from the field, .409 (9-22) from the 3-point line and .800 (12-15) from the free throw line. However, the Hornets were too proficient from the field, shooting better than 59 percent from the floor in both halves. Sacramento State has now shot at least 50 percent from the field in four of its last five game and now sits second in the Big Sky and among the top 25 teams in the nation with a .487 season field goal percentage.
McKinney posted his fifth game of the season with 20-plus points after the senior finished with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 2-of-3 from the 3-point line and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. He also added four assists and three rebounds in just 24 minutes before fouling out with 2:25 remaining in the game. The team co-captain is now averaging 17.4 points per game, the third best mark in the conference.
Senior guard Dylan Garrity continued his torrid pace by finishing with 18 points, a career-high tying six rebounds, a season-best nine assists, zero turnovers and one steal in 35 minutes. He shot 7-of-12 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Over his last three games, the reigning Big Sky Player of the Week is averaging 24.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists on .667 (20-30) shooting from the field, .667 (12-18) from the 3-point line and .909 (20-22) from the free throw line.
Joining McKinney and Garrity in double figures for the Hornets were junior Cody Demps (14 points, six assists and two steals), sophomore Eric Stuteville (12 points and a career-high five blocked shots in just 18 minutes), and senior Zach Mills (11 points, three rebounds and two steals). The Hornets also received six points and a season-high seven rebounds from senior Alex Tiffin, and six points and season-high tying eight rebounds from sophomore Nick Hornsby.
Four Southern Utah players scored in double figures, comprised of A.J. Hess (17), James McGee (11), Casey Oliverson (11) and Trey Kennedy (11). Amazingly, seven different Thunderbirds connected on at least one 3-pointer as the team went 9-of-22 from distance.
The Hornets return to action next week as they embark upon their first Big Sky road trip of the season. That includes games on Thursday at North Dakota (5:05 p.m. PST) and Saturday at Northern Colorado (6:05 p.m. PST).
NOTES -- The Hornets are one of four teams in the Big Sky with a 2-0 league record, including Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana…Garrity now has 481 career assists, and is just 21 assists shy of surpassing DaShawn Freeman's mark of 501, and becoming the program's all-time assists leader.
April 24, 2015 BIG SKY, RENO ANNOUNCE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS AGREEMENT
March 26, 2015 McKINNEY NAMED A FINALIST FOR MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
March 17, 2015 FIRST ROUND OF CIT - MEN'S HOOPS AT PORTLAND ON WEDNESDAY
March 10, 2015 BRIAN KATZ NAMED THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE CO-COACH OF THE YEAR
February 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS ONE WIN AWAY FROM LEAGUE TITLE AFTER WIN AT PORTLAND STATE
February 24, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS FINAL ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY AT PORTLAND STATE
February 21, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS BACK IN 1ST PLACE AFTER BEATING NORTH DAKOTA ON SENIOR NIGHT
February 20, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS FINAL REGULAR SEASON HOME GAME SAT. NIGHT AT 7 PM
February 19, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 17-8 WITH A 66-59 VICTORY OVER NORTHERN COLO.
February 17, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS NORTHERN COLORADO THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
February 14, 2015 LATE RUN SPARKS IDAHO TO 69-58 VICTORY OVER MEN’S BASKETBALL
February 13, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO IDAHO FOR SATURDAY EVENING MATCHUP
February 12, 2015 LATE RUN FALLS JUST SHORT IN MEN’S HOOPS’ 64-61 LOSS AT EASTERN WASH.
February 10, 2015 FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE IN MEN'S HOOPS GAME THURS. AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 7, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS WINS 7TH STRAIGHT, DOWNS PORTLAND STATE, 64-60
February 4, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS POSTS HIGHEST TERM GPA IN SCHOOL HISTORY
February 2, 2015 McKINNEY NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR THE 3RD STRAIGHT WEEK
January 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY NIGHT VS. MONTANA STATE
January 23, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN SATURDAY AT WEBER STATE
January 21, 2015 McKINNEY SELECTED AS ONE OF THE BEST MID-MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE NATION
January 21, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK IN ACTION THURSDAY NIGHT AT IDAHO STATE
January 19, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS RANKED IN THE TOP 25 MID-MAJOR POLL FOR FIRST TIME EVER
January 19, 2015 McKINNEY RECEIVES SCHOOL-RECORD 4TH BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
January 17, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS TAKES OVER FIRST PLACE, BEATS EASTERN WASHINGTON 90-77
January 16, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON ON SATURDAY FOR FIRST PLACE
January 13, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT HOME THURSDAY VS. LEAGUE NEWCOMER IDAHO AT 7 PM
January 10, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S WINNING STREAK ENDS IN LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
January 2, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY AT 7 P.M.
December 30, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS BIG SKY PLAY AT HOME THURSDAY VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA
December 29, 2014 GARRITY NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
December 27, 2014 GARRITY'S CAREER-HIGH 28 POINTS LEADS MEN'S HOOPS TO 74-49 ROAD WIN
December 24, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS FINAL NON-LEAGUE GAME SATURDAY AT UTAH VALLEY
December 21, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL CAN’T FIND THE RANGE IN ROAD LOSS AT SEATTLE
December 20, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO SEATTLE FOR SUNDAY EVENING MATCHUP
December 15, 2014 McKINNEY RECEIVES THIRD CAREER BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
December 14, 2014 BIG NIGHT FOR McKINNEY, BUT MEN’S HOOPS LOSES THRILLER TO PORTLAND
December 12, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS PORTLAND ON SUNDAY AT 5 P.M.
December 11, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS REMAINS PERFECT AT HOME WITH A 73-59 WIN OVER CS FULLERTON
December 10, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS CAL STATE FULLERTON THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7 PM
December 6, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS CONCLUDES ROAD TRIP WITH 74-62 LOSS AT UC IRVINE
December 5, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO UC IRVINE FOR SATURDAY EVENING GAME
December 3, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS LOOKS FOR 5TH STRAIGHT WIN THURSDAY AT ABILENE CHRISTIAN
December 1, 2014 HORNSBY SCORES A CAREER-HIGH 20 AS MEN’S HOOPS WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT
November 30, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS UTAH VALLEY ON MONDAY; GARRITY NEARS MILESTONE
November 25, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-1 WITH 97-63 VICTORY OVER BRISTOL
November 24, 2014 MEN'S HOOPS RESUMES HOMESTAND TUESDAY NIGHT VS. BRISTOL
November 19, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTS A 74-42 VICTORY OVER SIMPSON IN HOME OPENER
November 18, 2014 SACRAMENTO STATE TO HOST 2017 NCAA MEN’S TOURNEY 1ST AND 2ND ROUNDS
November 17, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO UC RIVERSIDE FOR MONDAY EVENING GAME
November 17, 2014 McKINNEY LEADS MEN’S HOOPS TO FIRST-EVER ROAD WIN AT UC RIVERSIDE
November 14, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS IN SEASON OPENER AT #13 GONZAGA
November 12, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS GUARD JEFF WU AND FORWARD JOSHUA PATTON
November 10, 2014 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS SEASON FRIDAY NIGHT AT #13 GONZAGA
October 23, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS PICKED FOURTH IN BIG SKY COACHES AND MEDIA POLLS
September 30, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS SEASON COMING FAST, FIRST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
September 5, 2014 MEN’S HOOPS POSTS HIGHEST TERM GRADE POINT AVERAGE IN SCHOOL HISTORY
August 15, 2014 MEN’S BASKETBALL RELEASES ITS 2014-15 SCHEDULE