MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN SATURDAY AT WEBER STATE

MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN SATURDAY AT WEBER STATE

Sacramento State Game Notes - pdf
Weber State Game Notes - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• Coming off a nail-biting 62-59 win at Idaho State in which the Hornets trailed by a point with 30 seconds remaining, Sacramento State (12-6, 6-1) will seek its fourth straight win on Saturday at Weber State (8-10, 3-4). Tip is 6:05 p.m. PST.
• The Hornets have won seven of their last eight games, and the team's 6-1 Big Sky record is the best since joining the league prior to the 1996-97 season.
• Sacramento State is sitting all alone in first place in the Big Sky standings this late in the season for the first time in school history.
• The Hornets' 12-6 overall record is the best since the 2005-06 season. Should the Hornets win on Saturday, the potential 13-6 record would match the team's best after 19 games in the Div. I era (1991-pres.) and the last 27 years -- the 2005-06 squad was 13-6, the 1988-89 Div. II squad was 13-6, and the 1987-88 Div. II squad was 15-4.
• Sacramento State is 4-5 on the road this year, and the four road wins at least match the most in any season in the last eight years (2005-06 squad went 7-9 on the road).
• The Hornets have won three of their last four road games.
• The Hornets are currently ranked 25th in the nation in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top 25 poll, the first time in school history to receive a ranking in the poll.
• In ESPN's latest Bracketology report, Sacramento State is predicted to represent the Big Sky in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 16 seed, facing Duke in the first round.
• Of the Hornets' last seven wins, four have come by five points or less.
• Trailing Sacramento State (6-1) in the Big Sky standings are Eastern Washington and Montana, who are both 5-1 and sit a half game back.
• Senior Mikh McKinney, the reigning Big Sky Player of the Week, was named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List this week.
• The Hornets will face a Weber State program that won last year's Big Sky regular season and tournament championships, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
• The Wildcats have dropped two straight, including Thursday's 69-63 home loss to Portland State. That snapped a four-game home winning streak for Weber State, as the Wildcats are 6-2 at home.
• In a series which dates back to 1969, Weber State has ownership over Sacramento State, posting a 36-5 all-time record against the Hornets.
• The Dee Events Center, Weber's home floor, has been a house of horrors for the Hornets. Sacramento State is 1-20 on Weber's home floor. That includes eight straight losses in Ogden with the lone win coming on Jan. 14, 2006 (73-66 win).
• Last year's 75-foot overtime "Hail Garrity" at the buzzer gave the Hornets a 78-75 home victory, which snapped a 12-game overall losing streak against Weber State.

TV/RADIO/VIDEO STREAM/LIVE STATS

• Every game the rest of the season, home or away, will be streamed live and free on www.WatchBigSky.com. Every home game will be streamed in HD. Fans will need to create an account before watching for the first time.
• Every game this season will be broadcast live on KTKZ 1380 AM with 18th-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Fans outside the Sacramento area can listen to all games via www.hornetsports.com or on the iHeart Radio application for mobile devices.
• Live stats will be provided for every game this season, via www.hornetsports.com for home games, or provided by the opponent's website for games on the road.
• Links for all multimedia options can be found next to each game on the men's basketball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

A LOOK AT THE HORNETS' LAST GAME

Zach Mills (0:13.3) and Trevis Jackson (0:1.6) both hit a pair of free throws over the final 15 seconds to help the Hornets secure a 62-59 road win at Idaho State on Thursday.
• Although the Hornets held a lead for over 35 minutes of the contest, neither team held an advantage better than four points the final 6:54.
• A Chris Hansen 3-pointer gave Idaho State a 59-58 lead with 33 seconds remaining.
• The game may have been won at the free throw line where the Hornets converted 15 of their 19 opportunities (.789) while Idaho State went just 11-of-20 (.550) from the stripe.
• Mikh McKinney had a game-high 24 points and five assists while Eric Stuteville finished with 11 points and Nick Hornsby added eight points and seven rebounds.

A PROFICIENT SHOOTING TEAM FROM EVERYWHERE

• Sacramento State currently ranks among the top 25 teams in the nation in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage.
• The Hornets are 15th in the nation in field goal percentage (.488), 20th in 3-point field goal percentage (.398), and 23rd in free throw percentage (.744).
• The Hornets have shot at least .500 from the field on 10 occasions this year, and are 9-1 in those games. In addition, the Hornets have shot better than .610 three times, including a Div. I program single-game record .633 (31-49) vs. Eastern Washington.
• Of the Hornets' top eight scorers, five are shooting better than .480 from the field.

FOUR ROAD WINS ALREADY

• While a 4-5 record on the road is hardly anything to brag about, its a pretty big deal at Sacramento State, where road wins have been hard to come by in the Div. I era.
• Amazingly, four road wins already match the third best mark since the Hornets joined the Div. I ranks in 1991-92 (the 2005-06 squad had seven; 2002-03 had six). Both the 2012-13 and 2011-12 squads finished with four road wins.
• The Hornets entered the season with, brace yourself, a 41-282 road record (.127 winning percentage) since joining the Div. I ranks.
• That's what makes Sacramento State's 4-5 road record so encouraging, not to mention the team has won three of its last four games on the road.

WINNING THE CLOSE ONES

• The Hornets are 4-0 in games decided by three points or less, 5-1 in games decided by five points or less, and 6-1 in games decided by single digits.
• Of Sacramento State's six conference victories, four have come by five points or less, including NAU (78-73), North Dakota (63-61), Idaho (79-76) and Idaho State (62-59).
• The team's lone loss among the single digit outcomes came against Portland (80-75).
• The Hornets are 6-1 in league despite outscoring the opposition by average of just 4.3 points per contest.

EIGHT-MAN ROTATION

• Head coach Brian Katz has essentially used an eight-man rotation a good portion of the season, featuring guards Mikh McKinney, Dylan Garrity, Cody Demps and Dreon Barlett, forwards Nick Hornsby, Zach Mills and Alex Tiffin, and center Eric Stuteville.
• Each of those eight players are fully ingrained into Katz's rotation and make up the team's top eight scorers. All eight are averaging at least 4.0 points per contest.
• Katz has used the same starting lineup in 16 of 18 games thus far, consisting of Garrity and McKinney at guard, Demps at swingman, Hornsby at forward, and Stuteville at center. That lineup has produced an 12-4 record this year.

WHEN THE HORNETS CONNECT FROM DISTANCE, THEY WIN

• The Hornets are 9-1 when shooting at least 40 percent from the 3-point line.
• The only loss came at UC Irvine when the Hornets connected on .467 from distance.
• In six of the team's last seven wins, Sacramento State has shot at least .417 from the 3-point line, including a .692 (9-13) mark against Northern Arizona.
• Sacramento State is shooting .432 from the 3-point stripe at home, including six different home games where the team connected on at least 40 percent. Conversely, the Hornets are shooting .368 from distance on the road.

IMPROVEMENT EVERY YEAR UNDER COACH KATZ

• Sacramento State has improved its conference record every year since head coach Brian Katz took over the program prior the 2008-09 season.
• After going 1-15 during Katz's first season in 2008-09, the Hornets went 3-13 in 2009-10, 4-12 in 2010-11, 5-11 in 2011-12, 8-12 in 2012-13, and 10-10 last year.

HORNETS PICKED HIGH IN PRESEASON RANKINGS

• Of the seven preseason polls released projecting the Big Sky, the Hornets were picked among the top four teams in all seven polls. That includes a first place prediction from Blue Ribbon, a second place prediction by ESPN and third place by The Sporting News.
• The Hornets were tabbed fourth in both the Big Sky coaches and media polls.

TWO 1,000 POINT SCORERS ON THE SAME SQUAD

• Early in the Abilene Christian game, senior guard Dylan Garrity became the 12th player in school history to score 1,000 career points, and is now eighth in Hornet history with 1,188 points. He is 10 points shy of moving past Damond Edwards into 7th place.
• Exactly 10 days later, senior guard Mikh McKinney became the 13th player to score 1,000 points with a bucket in the second half against Portland. McKinney's 1,161 points are now tied for ninth in school history.
• Together, they became just the sixth and seventh players to reach 1,000 points during the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.), joining John Dickson, Loren Leath, Damond Edwards, Alex Bausley and Michael Boyd.

GARRITY FOUR ASSISTS SHY OF TYING THE SCHOOL RECORD

• Senior guard Dylan Garrity is now just four assists shy of tying the Sacramento State all-time record for most assists (501), currently held by DaShawn Freeman (2002-06).
• In addition, Garrity, who is currently ninth in Big Sky history with his 497 assists, is just nine assists shy of moving all alone into sixth place in league history.
• Garrity, who has become more of a scorer than a distributor during his career, had 193 assists as a freshman, 143 as a sophomore, 107 as a junior, and 54 this season.
• Garrity has become a long range marksman, currently shooting better than 40 percent from distance for the third straight season.
• Among players averaging at least 2.5 made 3-pointers per game, Garrity's current percentage of .430 ranks as the 31st best percentage in the nation.
• His career 3-point percentage of .424 is the third best mark in school history.
• He has raised his scoring average every year of his career, from 8.1 ppg as a freshman, to 11.6 ppg, 13.2 ppg, and currently 13.4 ppg this year.

McKINNEY PUTTING TOGETHER A HUGE YEAR

• Including his game winner at North Dakota and 27-point second half against Idaho, senior guard and team co-captain Mikh McKinney has been incredible this season.
• He just became the first player in school history to be named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List. He is one of two players from the Big Sky (Tyler Harvey).
• He is averaging 18.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.8 steals per game while shooting .537 (116-216) from the field and .744 (48-63) from the free throw line.
• Perhaps the most impressive stat from his line is the field goal percentage (.537), which remains the best mark among all guards in the Big Sky.
• He ranks among the Big Sky's top eight players in six categories, including first in steals, second in minutes (35.6), tied for second in scoring, third in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.2), and eighth in field goal percentage.
• Has scored at least 11 points in 15 straight games, and in 16 of the 17 games he's appeared. McKinney has scored in double figures in 61 career games.
• His average of 2.8 steals per game is the fifth best mark in the nation.
• Has started all 76 games in which he's played in a Sacramento State uniform.

DEMPS PLAYING AT A HIGH LEVEL IN CONFERENCE PLAY

• After scoring in double figures in four of the team's 11 non-conference games, junior swingman Cody Demps has dropped in at least 13 points in five of seven Big Sky games.
• Including his career-high 22 points vs. Eastern Washington, Demps is averaging 12.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league play.
• He is also shooting .574 (31-54) from the field in league play, an impressive percentage for a player who primarily plays on the perimeter. In league play, he ranks second in assist-to-turnover ratio, sixth in field goal percentage and ninth in free throw percentage.
• He has shot at least 50 percent from the field in six of the seven league games.

HORNET NOTABLES

• Sophomore Nick Hornsby has pulled at least five rebounds in six straight games, and is now eighth in the Big Sky with a  team-high 6.7 rebounds per game in league play.
• Dreon Barlett buried a career-high four 3-pointers in four attempts vs. Eastern Wash., and is now shooting .519 (14-27) from distance this season. If he had enough makes to qualify, his career .450 (36-80) 3-point percentage would rank 2nd in school history.
• In league play, senior Zach Mills is averaging 9.0 points while shooting .511 (23-45) from the field, .600 (9-15) from the 3-point line and .800 (8-10) from the free throw line.