SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State senior co-captains Mikh McKinney (17) and Dylan Garrity (16) combined for 33 of the Hornets' 64 points on the way to a 64-60 win over Portland State on Saturday afternoon at the Nest.
The win allowed the Hornets (16-6, 10-1) to remain all alone in first place in the Big Sky standings, improve their winning streak to seven games, and improve to 11-1 at home, including 7-0 in conference. Below are a number of quickies on the season thus far.
• Sacramento State now assures itself of the program's first winning season in the Div. I era (1991-pres.), and the 16 victories becomes the high water mark for wins in the Div. I era.
• The 16 wins ties for the eighth best mark in school history (1948-pres.).
• The 10-1 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 Hornets' 16-6 overall record is the program's best since the 1987-88 squad was 17-5, and the third best after 22 games in program history.
• Sacramento State's seven-game winning streak is tied for the sixth longest in school history, and the longest in nearly 40 years (the 1975-76 squad won seven straight).
• Dating back to last year, the Hornets have won a school-record eight straight home games vs. Big Sky opposition.
• The 11 home victories tie for the most in the Div. I era (last season's team went 11-3 inside the Nest).
• Overall, Sacramento State has won 19 of its last 21 home games dating back to last year.
As has often been the case at the Nest this season, there were a number of tense moments late in today's game, as neither team led by more than six points the final 18:25 of the game. The Vikings (11-10, 5-6) quickly erased a 33-24 halftime deficit by opening the second half on a 14-2 run, capped off by a pair of free throws which gave PSU a 38-35 lead with 15:55 remaining. The Vikings led by three points on three occasions during the second half, which also happened to be their largest lead of the game.
Both teams battled back and forth until a jumper from Alex Tiffin at the 9:01 mark gave the Hornets the lead for good at 50-48. Sacramento State would eventually push that advantage to 61-55 with 3:18 to play, but the Hornets went 1-for-4 from the free throw line over the next three minutes to let PSU back into the game. In fact, after a Hornet missed front end of a 1-and-1, the Vikings took possession of the ball down, 62-60, with 29 seconds left.
After calling a timeout, the Vikings set up a play for Gary Winston, but Iziahiah Sweeney's cross-court pass was too high, and Winston landed on the sideline after jumping to catch the ball with 18 seconds to play. Sacramento Stat's Dylan Garrity was fouled one second later, and sunk both free throws to make it a two possession game. Portland State's Tiegbe Bamba had his 3-point attempt blocked by Alex Tiffin on the Vikings' ensuing possession and Tim Douglas eventually missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and the Hornets secured the rebound as time expired.
Sacramento State didn't play particularly well on offense as the 64 points were the team's lowest output at home this season. However, the Hornet defense limited the Vikings to 60 points, tied for their fourth lowest mark of the year. The Hornets finished the game shooting .481 (25-52) from the field, .600 (6-10) from the 3-point line and just .533 (8-15) from the free throw line. Sacramento State entered the game as the nation's 22nd best free throw shooting team in the nation, but had trouble at the stripe this afternoon.
Portland State, which shot .442 (23-52) from the field, was forced into 17 turnovers and Sacramento State finished with a commanding 15-6 edge in points off turnovers. Ten of those Viking turnovers came in the second half. Portland State did have a commanding 36-28 advantage in the rebounding department and converted 11 offensive rebounds into 13 second chance points.
"I thought Portland State did a really nice job of coming back in the second half, and this was a game we had to grind out for the win," Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. "This was a typical Big Sky win, we had to scratch and claw for this victory over a very good Portland State team.
"I felt like we did a really nice job defensively on a team that really score the basketball. Its good to be in this position (first place) right now, but every game is a fist fight and we need to continue to win these kind of ball games."
McKinney's team-high 17 points came on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, including 2-for-4 from the 3-point line. He also had four assists and a game-high four steals. Garrity's 16 points accompanied a pair of 3-pointers, five assists and three steals. Sacramento State finished with 12 steals (the second highest output of the season), and three different Hornets had at least three swipes, including Nick Hornsby (3).
Center Eric Stuteville had seven points and five rebounds, Zach Mills had eight points and two steals, and Alex Tiffin added seven points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. Cody Demps was limited to under eight points for just the third time in conference play, and finished with five points, five rebounds and two assists.
Three Portland State players finished in double figures, comprised of Braxton Tucker (18 points, five rebounds), Bamba (13 points, game-high seven rebounds) and DaShaun Wiggins (10 points).
The Hornets will now embark upon their biggest road trip in years when the team plays at Eastern Washington and Idaho next Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Eastern Washington (9-1) remains a half game behind Sacramento State in the standings, and the winner of Thursday's game will sit all alone in first place. The Hornets have just seven games remaining on the regular season schedule.
NOTES -- Sacramento State is now 7-1 in games decided by five points or less this year…of the Hornets' 10 conference wins, seven have come by seven points or less…tonight's attendance of 1,145 marked the third straight game with an overflow sellout crowd (capacity is 1,012).
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