Text-Only Site

MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS FINAL REGULAR SEASON HOME GAME SAT. NIGHT AT 7 PM

MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS FINAL REGULAR SEASON HOME GAME SAT. NIGHT AT 7 PM

Sacramento State Game Notes - 28 pages (pdf)
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• Fresh off a 66-59 win over Northern Colorado, Sacramento State (17-8, 11-3) will play its final regular season home game on Saturday night vs. North Dakota (8-17, 4-10). Tip-off at the Nest is set for 7:05 p.m.
• Prior to the game, Hornet seniors Dylan Garrity, Mikh McKinney, Alex Tiffin and Zach Mills will be honored for their contributions to the program. It could be argued that this year's senior class is the best in program history (1948-pres.).
• Sacramento State is 12-1 at home this season, which is one victory shy of the school record for most home victories in a single season (the 1987-88 squad was 13-2).
• The Hornets, who are currently ranked 20th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major poll, are the only team in the Big Sky with a perfect home record in league play.
• Overall, Sacramento State has won 12 of its last 15 games, and the team has not suffered a losing streak of more than two games all season long.
• The Hornets, who are assured of their first winning season during the Div. I era (1991-pres.), entered the year having posted just three winning seasons in the last 38 years.
• Sacramento State's 17-8 record is the best after 25 games in the Div. I era, and the best since the 1987-88 squad was 20-5. In addition, the record matches the third best mark after 25 games in program history (1948-pres.).
• The Hornets are currently tied for second place in the Big Sky standings with Montana (11-3), and sit just a half game back of first place Eastern Washington (11-2). The Hornets' 11-3 record is easily the best since joining the Big Sky prior to the 1996-97 season.
• Sacramento State's win on Thursday clinched the team's second straight Big Sky Tournament berth, and sixth since joining the league prior to the 1996-97 season.
• The 11 Big Sky wins are already the most in program history.
• A victory on Saturday would give the team 18 wins, the most since the 1987-88 season, and tied for the third most in program history.
• A win Saturday would allow the Hornets to increase their program-record home winning streak vs. Big Sky teams to 10 straight, a stretch which dates back to last year.
• A win Saturday would allow the Hornets to win nine straight home games, the longest streak since 1972, and tied for the second longest streak in school history.
• Though North Dakota is 4-10 in league, six of those losses have come by seven points or less, or have been decided in overtime.
• One of those losses happened earlier this season in Grand Forks when Mikh McKinney buried a floater with 2.6 seconds left to deliver the Hornets a 63-61 win on Jan. 8.
• In a series which dates back to 2010, the series is tied between the two teams at 4-4.
• None of the eight meetings between the two teams have been decided by more than 11 points, and the average margin of victory in the eight games is just 5.9 points.
• The Hornets have never lost to North Dakota inside the Nest (3-0).

A LOOK AT THE TWO TEAMS LAST MEETING

• Mikh McKinney buried a tough floater with 2.6 seconds remaining to deliver Sacramento State a 63-61 road win at North Dakota on Jan. 8.
• After trailing, 58-54, with a little under four minutes to play, the Hornets were able to close on a 9-3 run spanning the game's final 3:25.
• In a game which featured nine ties and six lead changes, neither team led by more than eight points the entire way.
• Of the team's last nine points, eight were scored by McKinney (4) or Cody Demps (4).
• Zach Mills had a season-high 17 points, McKinney had 13 points, Alex Tiffin (12 points, five rebounds) and senior Dylan Garrity (10 points, three assists in 35 minutes).

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 PROFICIENT SHOOTING TEAM FROM EVERYWHERE

• Sacramento State is one of just four teams in the nation to rank among the top 15 squads in both field goal percentage (14th, .486) and 3-point percentage (14th, .401).
• In addition, the team is 46th in the nation in free throw percentage (.728).
• 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.
• The program record for single-season field goal percentage is .491 (1985-86), and 3-point field goal percentage is .418 (1987-88).

SUCCESS ON THE HOME FLOOR

• Dating back to the beginning of the 2012-13 season, Sacramento State is 33-8 at the Nest. That includes a 12-1 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 nine straight home games vs. Big Sky opposition. Sacramento State is the only team in the Big Sky with an undefeated home record inside league play this season.
• Overall, the Hornets have won eight straight home games, matching the third best mark in school history (1948-pres.).
• Overall, Sacramento State has won 20 of its last 22 home games.
• At home, the Hornets are shooting a blistering .532 (359-675) from the field and .429 (81-189) from the 3-point line.

WINNING THE CLOSE ONES

• The Hornets are 5-1 in games decided by three points or less, 7-2 in games decided by five points or less, and 10-2 in games decided by single digits.
• Of the Hornets' 11 conference wins, eight have come by seven points or less.
• The Hornets are 11-3 in league despite outscoring the opposition by an average of just 3.6 points per contest.

LEAN YEARS NOW IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR

• To put the Hornets' 17-8 and 11-3 records into context, one has to understand how far the program has come this season after some dubious years in the Div. I era.
• Since joining the Div. I ranks prior to the 1991-92 season, the Hornets had never finished with an overall record above .500 until the win against Portland State assured the Hornets of their first Div. I winning season.
• Prior to this season, Sacramento State's overall record in the Div. I era was 189-475 (.269 winning percentage), and 86-211 (.266) in Big Sky Conference play.
• At one point, the Hornets lost 34 straight games, which lasted from Dec. 22, 1997 until the streak was snapped with a 60-57 home win against Montana on Jan. 27, 1999.

WINNING STREAKS

• The Hornets have three winning streaks of at least four games, including a seven-gamer which tied for the sixth best in program history. Here are the longest win streaks in school history: 12 - 1969-70;  11 - 1952-53;  8 - Three teams;  7 - 2014-15, 1975-76.

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 make up the team's top eight scorers, and six of the eight are averaging better than 6.0 points per game.
• Katz has used the same starting lineup in 23 of 25 games thus far, consisting of Garrity and McKinney at guard, Demps at swingman, Hornsby at forward, and Stuteville at center. That lineup has produced a 17-6 record this year.

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.

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 24 points of each other as McKinney is sixth in school history with 1,311 points and Garrity is seventh with 1,287 points.
• McKinney is just three points shy of passing John Dickson into fifth place all-time.
• 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 THE NEW ASSISTS KING AT SACRAMENTO STATE

• With 516 career assists, senior guard Dylan Garrity is Sacramento State's all-time leader, surpassing the previous mark of 501, set by DaShawn Freeman (2002-06).
• In addition, Garrity is sixth in Big Sky history in that category.
• 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 73 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 .421 ranks as the 25th best percentage in the nation.
• His career 3-point percentage of .422 (205-486) is the 3rd 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 13.6 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 four times this season.
• He is averaging 19.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.8 steals per game while shooting .529 (165-312) from the field, .409 (47-115) from the 3-point line and .775 (79-102) from the free throw line. He is also a team-high +106 in plus/minus ratio.
• Amazingly, he ranks among the nation's top 55 players in eight different categories, including sixth in steals per game, 22nd in minutes (36.7), 28th in points per game, 35th in field goals made, 40th in assists per game, and 54th in field goal percentage.
• Perhaps the most impressive stat from his line is the field goal percentage (.529), which is the fifth best mark in the nation among guards.
• He ranks among the Big Sky's top three players in five categories; first in steals and minutes, second in scoring and assists, and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.2).
• Has scored at least 11 points in 22 straight games, and in 23 of the 24 games he's appeared. McKinney has scored in double figures in 68 career games.
• Has started all 83 games in which he's played in a Sacramento State uniform.

DEMPS PLAYING AT A HIGH LEVEL IN CONFERENCE PLAY

• Though guards Mikh McKinney and Dylan Garrity get a lot of pub, opponents can't overlook the third part of the Hornets' three-guard monster in junior Cody Demps.
• After averaging 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on .391 shooting in non-conference play, Demps has ramped those numbers up to 11.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists on .556 shooting (55-99) in Big Sky play.
• In league play, he ranks among the Big Sky's top 11 players in six categories, including 8th in field goal percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.0), and 11th in rebounding, assists and free throw percentage (.792).

HORNET NOTABLES

• Zach Mills' 3-point percentage of .536 (15-28) in Big Sky play is 3rd best in the league. His career 3-point percentage of .410 ranks as the 5th best mark in school history.
• Alex Tiffin's free throw percentage of .759 (22-29) is not only a career high, but is light years better than last season's percentage of .422 (19-45).
• Nick Hornsby has at least three steals in four of the last five games. He is averaging 3.4 steals during that stretch and is T-8th in the league averaging 1.3 steals in league play.