MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 7TH STRAIGHT WIN SATURDAY AFTERNOON VS. PORTLAND ST.

MEN'S HOOPS SEEKS 7TH STRAIGHT WIN SATURDAY AFTERNOON VS. PORTLAND ST.

Sacramento State Game Notes (pdf)
Portland State Game Notes (pdf)
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• Winners of six straight, and 10 of the last 11, Sacramento State (15-6, 9-1) will take on Portland State (11-9, 5-5) on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for 7:05 p.m., but was moved up to a 2:05 p.m. start.
• Fans are encouraged to wear white to the game as part of a Whiteout promotion.
• The Hornets' 15-6 overall record is the best mark in the Div. I era (1991-pres.), and the best since the 1987-88 squad was 16-5. In addition, the 15-6 record is the third best after 21 games in program history (1948-pres.). The 1952-53 team was 16-5.
• The 9-1 Big Sky record is easily the best mark in program history, and the Hornets have never been in first place this late in the year since joining the league in 1996-97.
• The six-game winning streak is the longest in the Div. I era, and the last 28 years (the 1987-88 squad won six straight). It is also tied for the seventh longest in school history.
• The Hornets are currently ranked a school-record 15th in the nation in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major top 25 poll. The team jumped five spots in this week's poll.
• ESPN Bracketology predicts the Hornets to represent the Big Sky in this year's NCAA Tournament in a play-in game vs. Texas Southern with the winner taking on Kentucky.
• Should the Hornets win on Saturday, the potential 16-6 record would be the team's best since the 1987-88 squad was 17-5 after 22 games. That 1987-88 team, part of the Div. II era, was also the last team to qualify for an NCAA Tournament.
• Should the Hornets win Saturday, the seven-game winning streak would be tied for the sixth longest in school history, and the longest in nearly 40 years (the 1975-76 squad ripped off seven straight).
• A victory on Saturday would also guarantee Sacramento State its first winning season in the Div. I era, and become the high water mark for wins in the Div. I era. The potential 16 wins would also tie for the eighth best mark in school history.
• Sacramento State is 10-1 at home this season, including 6-0 in Big Sky play. Dating back to last year, the Hornets have won seven straight home games vs. league teams.
• Portland State is coming off an 80-62 home win over Montana State, and is 4-6 on the road this year, including a 2-2 mark against conference teams.
• The Hornets are 12-26 all-time against Portland State, but 10-9 when playing the Vikings in Sacramento. PSU has won 12 of the last 15 meetings between the two teams.
• The teams split their season series last year with each team winning on the road. Sacramento State had its 561 consecutive game streak with at least one made 3-pointer end in last year's 68-64 overtime loss to the Vikings at the Nest.

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

Dylan Garrity buried a 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds left to cap a 9-0 Hornet run over the game's final three minutes and deliver a 70-69 home win vs. Montana on Saturday.
• The win snapped a 15-game losing streak against Montana.
• The standing room only crowd of 1,407 was 395 fans more than capacity (1,012).
• The Grizzlies had a chance to win, but missed two shots during the final three seconds.
• Montana opened up a game-high 13-point lead with 9:34 remaining in the contest.
• The Grizzlies missed their final four field goal attempts while also committing two turnovers and missing a big free throw opportunity during the last three minutes.
• Four Hornet starters scored in double figures, including Mikh McKinney (18 points, six assists and three steals), Cody Demps (18 points, five rebounds), Eric Stuteville (13 points, 9-of-15 from the free throw line) and Garrity (10 points, two 3-pointers).

A PROFICIENT SHOOTING TEAM FROM EVERYWHERE

• Sacramento State is one of just four teams in the nation to rank among the top 10 squads in both field goal percentage (9th, .494) and 3-point percentage (8th, .411).
• In addition, the team is 22nd in the nation in free throw percentage (.742).
• The Hornets have shot at least .500 from the field on 12 occasions this year, and are 11-1 in those games. In addition, the Hornets have shot better than .590 four times, including a .596 percentage at Weber State.
• Of the Hornets' top eight scorers, five are shooting at least .500 from the field.
• The program record for single-season field goal percentage is .491 (1985-86), and 3-point field goal percentage is .418 (1987-88).

HOME SWEET HOME

• Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Sacramento State is 31-8 at the Nest. That includes a 10-1 home mark this season, 11-3 last year, and 10-4 inside the friendly confines in 2012-13.
• Dating back to last year, the Hornets have won a school-record tying seven straight home games vs. Big Sky teams. A win on Saturday would set the new program mark.
• This season, the Hornets are winning their home games by an average of 12.4 points.
• Overall, Sacramento State has won 18 of its last 20 home games.
• At home, the Hornets are shooting a blistering .539 (312-579) from the field and .433 (71-164) from the 3-point line. Of the 11 home games, Sacramento State has shot at least .500 from the floor on eight of those occasions.

WINNING THE CLOSE ONES

• The Hornets are 5-0 in games decided by three points or less, 6-1 in games decided by five points or less, and 8-1 in games decided by single digits.
• Of the Hornets' nine conference wins, six have come by seven points or less.
• The Hornets are 9-1 in league despite outscoring the opposition by average of just 5.4 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. Seven of the eight players on the rotation are averaging at least 4.7 points per game.
• Katz has used the same starting lineup in 19 of 21 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 15-4 record this year.

WINNING STREAKS

• Sacramento State has three winning streaks of at least four games this year.
• A win on Saturday would increase the Hornets' current winning streak to seven games, which would tie for the sixth longest streak in school history (1948-pres.).
• Here is a look at the longest winning streaks in school history:  
12 - 1969-70;  11 - 1952-53;  8 - Three teams;  7 - 1975-76;  6 - Seven teams. The most recent team to win seven straight was the 1975-76 squad.

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

• Earlier this season, senior guards Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney became the 12th and 13th players, respectively, in school history to score 1,000 career points.
• The two are currently within one point of each other as McKinney is seventh in school history with 1,235 points and Garrity is eighth with 1,234 points.
• 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 SETS PROGRAM RECORD FOR CAREER ASSISTS

• With 504 career assists, senior guard Dylan Garrity is Sacramento State' new all-time leader, surpassing the previous mark of 501, set by DaShawn Freeman (2002-06).
• In addition, Garrity is just two assists shy of moving into sixth place in Big Sky 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 61 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 season percentage of .441 ranks as the 18th best percentage in the nation.
• His career 3-point percentage of .427 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 13.7 ppg this year.

McKINNEY PUTTING TOGETHER A HUGE YEAR

• Including his game winner at North Dakota and 27-point second halves in wins over Idaho and Weber State, senior guard Mikh McKinney has been incredible this season.
• He 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 has won Big Sky Player of the Week honors each of the last three weeks, becoming the first player in the league to accomplish that feat since Montana's Brian Qvale in 2011.
• He is averaging 19.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.9 steals per game while shooting .541 (139-257) from the field, .419 (36-86) from the 3-point line and .786 (66-84) from the free throw line. He is also a team-best +111 in plus/minus ratio.
• Amazingly, he ranks among the nation's top 50 players in nine different categories, including sixth in steals per game, 29th in points per game, 33rd in assists per game, 36th in field goals made, and 43rd in field goal percentage.
• Perhaps the most impressive stat from his line is the field goal percentage (.541), which is the third best mark in the nation among guards.
• He ranks among the Big Sky's top three players in five categories; first in steals, second in scoring and minutes, and third in assists, and assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.4).
• Has scored at least 11 points in 18 straight games, and in 19 of the 20 games he's appeared. McKinney has scored in double figures in 64 career games.
• Has started all 79 games in which he's played in a Sacramento State uniform.

DEMPS PLAYING AT A HIGH LEVEL IN CONFERENCE PLAY

• After averaging 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on .391 shooting in non-conference play, junior guard Cody Demps has ramped those numbers up to 12.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists on .592 shooting (45-76) in Big Sky play
• In league play, he ranks among the Big Sky's top six players in three categories, including fifth in free throw percentage (.838), and sixth in both field goal percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.3). He is also tied for 12th in assists per game (3.6).
• He has shot at least 50 percent from the field in nine of the 10 league games.

HORNET NOTABLES

• Sophomore Nick Hornsby has pulled at least seven rebounds in six of the last nine games, and is 11th in the Big Sky with a  team-high 6.3 rpg in league play.
• Centers Eric Stuteville (.625) and Alex Tiffin (.529) are combining to shoot .589 (53-90) thus far in Big Sky play.
• Over his last five games, Stuteville is shooting .783 (18-23) from the field.
• In league play, five different Hornet regulars are shooting at least .529 from the field.
• Senior forward Zach Mills has gone seven straight games scoring nine points or less.