OGDEN, Utah -- Sacramento State senior guard Mikh McKinney put on a show yet again, scoring 27 of his career-high 33 points in the second half to lead the Hornets to a 78-71 road win at Weber State on Saturday evening at the Dee Events Center.
McKinney, who was just named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List, played all 40 minutes of the game while shooting 10-of-16 from the floor, 5-of-7 from the 3-point line and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. He also had a game-high seven assists with zero turnovers and a steal.
The third-year senior and team co-captain put on a shooting display in the second half, going 8-of-9 from the floor, 5-of-5 from the 3-point line and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He scored 27 of the Hornets' 41 points in a second half which saw Sacramento State outscore the Wildcats, 41-34, after the game had been tied, 37-37, at halftime. McKinney scored 19 of the Hornets' final 22 points, and over the final 10:42, he went 5-of-5 from the field, 3-of-3 from distance and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. He buried late 3-pointers at the 4:01, 2:19, and 0:53 marks, the last of which came after he pulled an offensive rebound and buried the dagger which put the Hornets up, 75-69, with 53 seconds to play.
It was less than two weeks ago that McKinney put up the same amount of second-half points (27) in a 32-point effort in the Hornets' 79-76 home victory against Idaho on Jan. 15. His 33 total points surpassed his previous career high of 32, which he set on a pair of occasions this year. He has now gone over the 30-point plateau three times this season, and the 20-point plateau on eight occasions.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 13-6 overall, 7-1 in the Big Sky Conference, and the team remains all alone atop the league standings. The Hornets' 13-6 overall record matches the team's best mark after 19 games in the Div. I era (1991-pres.) and the last 27 years. The last time a Hornet squad was better than 13-6 after 19 games came during the Div. II era when the 1987-88 squad was 15-4 (the 2005-06 and 1988-89 teams were also 13-6).
The 7-1 Big Sky mark is the best for the Hornets since joining the league in 1996-97, the team won for just the second time ever in Ogden, Utah (2-20), and Sacramento State is now 5-5 on the road. Prior to tonight, the Hornets' lone win in Ogden came on Jan. 14, 2006.
In addition, the Hornets have won four straight, eight of their last nine overall, four of their last five road games, and the five road victories are already the third most in the Div. I era. With 10 conference games remaining, Sacramento State has never been in first place this late in the season since joining the Big Sky, and the team will likely improve upon its school-record No. 25 ranking in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top 25 poll.
"It feels so good to finally get a win on Weber's home floor," McKinney said. "However, in reality, we can't get too hyped because this game didn't win us a conference championship. We followed the game plan tonight, made the right adjustments, and we were able to come out on top. I scored some buckets, but this was a team effort. Everyone had a hand in this victory."
In a game which featured eight ties, eight lead changes, and no team leading by more than seven points the entire way, it was Sacramento State that finished the game shooting .596 (28-47) from the field, .588 (10-17) from the 3-point line and .667 (12-18) from the free throw line. The Hornets shot a blistering .737 (14-19) from the field in the second half, including 6-of-8 from distance.
After a Cody Demps layup put the Hornets up, 64-63, with 5:52 remaining, Sacramento State never trailed the rest of the way. McKinney's three late triples extended Sacramento State's lead to 69-65 with 4:01 remaining, 72-67 with 2:19 left, and 75-69 with 53 seconds left. The Hornets made their final three free throws during the last 16 seconds to help put the game away.
Weber State held advantages in points in the paint (32-22), points off turnovers (17-8), second-chance points (19-15) and points off the bench (14-7), but could not overcome the Hornets' proficiency from the floor. In fact, the Wildcats (8-11, 3-5) also shot well from the field, converting on .474 (27-57) of their attempts, but just 6-of-21 from the 3-point line and 11-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Not only was McKinney on fire all evening, his backcourt mate, senior guard Dylan Garrity, scored 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, 4-of-6 from the 3-point line and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. Together, McKinney and Garrity combined to score 51 of Sacramento State's 78 points. It was Garrity that buried four 3-pointers during the first 13 minutes of the contest, and scored 15 of the Hornets' 37 first-half points.
"I was really happy the way our players stayed the course and didn't get intimidated by the shifts in momentum throughout the game," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "We were able to execute under pressure, score some big buckets late in the game, and that was the difference.
"Nothing Mikh (McKinney) does on the floor surprises me. Same with Dylan (Garrity). A lot of people like to call them the best backcourt in the Big Sky, and they really made a statement tonight. Weber State has a great coach, and has been the class of the league along with Montana for years, so this was definitely a noteworthy win. However, we have a lot of work to do, a lot of games left, and we're going to keep grinding."
Joining McKinney and Garrity in double figures for the Hornets was sophomore Eric Stuteville who had 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Demps added eight points, a season-high tying 10 rebounds and five assists. He was a game-high +12 in plus/minus ratio and finished the game 4-of-6 from the field go along with a blocked shot and a steal.
Four Weber State players scored in double figures, including Joel Bolomboy (21 points, 13 rebounds), Jeremy Senglin (15 points), Chris Golden (11 points) and Jaelyn Johnson-Coston (10 points and two steals).
Sacramento State returns home next week to what should be a soldout and jubilant Nest when the team hosts both Montana State on Thursday and Montana on Saturday. Both games tip at 7:05 p.m. The Hornets are 8-1 on the home floor this year, including 4-0 against Big Sky opposition.
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