Full Game Notes/Stats (pdf)
Big Sky Conference standings
• Sacramento State (12-16, 5-12) will play its final regular season game, and last home game of the season, on Saturday evening against Northern Arizona (5-23, 3-14). Tip-off at the Nest is set for 7:05 p.m.
• Prior to the game, Sacramento State fourth-year seniors Cody Demps and Dreon Barlett will be honored for their contributions to the program.
• The Hornets have clinched the No. 10 seed for next week's Big Sky Tournament in Reno, and will play on Tuesday at 5:35 p.m. against either Portland State or Montana State. If Montana State beats North Dakota at home on Saturday or Portland State loses at home to Southern Utah, the Hornets would take on the Bobcats on Tuesday.
• All 12 teams qualify for the Big Sky Tourney and the top 4 seeds get a first round bye.
• Tournament schedule, ticket prices and much more can be found at RoadToReno.com.
• The single-elimination tournament runs from March 8-12, and four games will take place on Tuesday including the Hornets taking on the eventual No. 7 seed.
• The Hornets beat Southern Utah at home on Thursday in overtime, 69-63, and outscored the Thunderbirds, 8-2, in the overtime session.
• Sacramento State is 9-5 at home, including a 4-4 mark against Big Sky opposition.
• Should the Hornets beat Northern Arizona on Saturday, it would mark the fourth straight season with double figures in home victories.
• Five of Sacramento State's last six games have been decided by six points or less.
• Northern Arizona is tied for 11th in the league standings with Southern Utah, and has lost three straight and five of six games. The Lumberjacks fell on the road at Portland State on Thursday night by an 89-81 score.
• In a series which dates back to 1991, the Hornets are 12-35 all-time against the Lumberjacks, including a 10-14 mark when playing in Sacramento.
• It was the Lumberjacks that defeated the Hornets in the second round of the CIT last season inside the Nest by a 78-73 score.
• Saturday's matchup will mark the first and only matchup of the season between the two teams. The Hornets have won three of the last five meetings in Sacramento.
RADIO/VIDEO STREAM/LIVE STATS
• Free live video streams will be provided for every game the rest of the season via www.WatchBigSky.com. All home games will be streamed in HD.
• Saturday's game will be broadcast live on KTKZ 1380 AM The Answer with 19th-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Fans outside the Sacramento area can listen to every game via www.hornetsports.com.
• Live stats will be available for every game the rest of the way. All multimedia links can be found next to each game on the men's basketball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.
RECAP OF THE HORNETS' LAST GAME
• Sacramento State limited Southern Utah to .385 shooting (25-of-65) and held an 8-2 advantage in overtime on the way to a 69-63 victory over the Thunderbirds on Thursday.
• During the extra session, Southern Utah shot just 1-for-7 from the field, 0-for-4 from the 3-point line and did not attempt a free throw.
• The Thunderbirds' lone bucket tied the score at 63-63 with 2:35 left, but SUU went 0-for-3 from the field while committing two turnovers during the final two minutes.
• Meanwhile, Sacramento State never trailed in overtime, getting buckets from Marcus Graves (3:50) and Nick Hornsby (1:02). The Hornets iced the game by going 4-for-4 from the free throw line during the final 30 seconds.
• Cody Demps was huge for Sacramento State at the end of regulation, scoring each of the Hornets' final six points spanning the final 2:58 of the second half. That included a 12-foot elbow jumper at the 1:14 mark to give the Hornets a 59-57 lead, and he later added a runner in the lane for a 61-59 lead with 30 seconds remaining.
• Southern Utah would tie the score at 61-61 with a pair of free throws at the 23-second mark and that's how the game would go into overtime. Demps missed a 3-point look at the end of regulation that would have given the Hornets the win.
• The Hornets held a 21-8 lead at the 7:48 mark of the first half, but Southern Utah closed the final 6:53 on a 14-4 run to trail, 25-22, at halftime. The Thunderbirds would eventually take a seven-point lead (36-29) with 15:32 remaining, but Sacramento State responded with a 20-6 run to take a 49-42 lead with 9:22 left.
SLOW STARTS LEADING TO BIG 1ST HALF DEFICITS
• Sacramento State has gotten off to a number of slow starts lately that has put the team in a hole early and led to large first half deficits.
• In seven of the last 10 games, Sacramento State has found itself down big early.
- Trailed at North Dakota, 24-11, with 9:18 left in the first half.
- Trailed at home vs. Idaho, 30-22, at the half. Twenty-two points was a season low for a half.
- Trailed at home vs. Eastern Washington, 39-23, with 8:38 left in the first half.
- Trailed at Weber State, 18-8, did not eclipse 10 points until 7:06 left in the first half.
- Trailed at home vs. Montana State, 19-10, did not eclipse 10 points until 9:12 left in half.
- Trailed at home vs. Montana, 21-6, did not eclipse 10 points until 9:47 left in the half.
- Trailed at Eastern Washington, 14-6, did not eclipse 10 points until 10:58 left in the half.
• Sluggish first halves have been a problem all year as the Hornets average just 32.8 points in the first half compared to 38.9 points in the second half.
• The Hornets are being outscored in the first half by an average of 3.1 points, but have outscored the opposition in the second half by an average of 1.9 points.
LOOKING TO BREAK OUT
• A number of Sacramento State players have been in shooting slumps of late, contributing to the Hornets' 69.2 points per game during Big Sky play (second lowest in the league).
• Sacramento State has shot .453 or less in nine of the last 11 games, and has not eclipsed the .500 field goal percentage mark in 13 straight contests.
• Some Hornets currently slumping from the field include Marcus Graves (9-of-33 over the last 4 games), Dreon Barlett (13-for-33 over the last 6 games), Jiday Ugbaja (6-for-19 over the last 8 games), Grant Dressler (1-for-17 over the last 10 games) and Jeff Wu (12-for-43 over the last 7 games).
HORNETS AT FULL STRENGTH
• Sacramento State has returned to health after playing 11 games without a starter because of injury. Prior to the injuries, Sacramento State was looking good with a 7-3 record. However, by the time the injury bug went away, the Hornets were 10-11 and have not recovered.
• Guard Dreon Barlett did not play at Stanford, forward Nick Hornsby did not suit up in the Big Sky opener at Portland State and guard Cody Demps missed nine straight games.
• With Demps' return from injury seven games ago, the Hornets are back to health, but still working out some kinks of a team that didn't play together for seven weeks.
• Prior to Demps' return, the team played its first 10 league games minus an injured starter.
TEN LOSSES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT OUTCOMES
• In 10 of the team's 16 losses, the Hornets trailed by four points or less, or held a lead during the final 3:30 of the contest. Here is the breakdown of those 10 losses.
- 72-67 loss at Northern Colorado - led, 63-62, with 1:41 remaining
- 93-88 loss vs. Eastern Washington - trailed, 92-88, with 17 seconds remaining
- 66-64 loss at Idaho State - trailed, 60-59, with 3:00 to play.
- 79-76 loss to Montana State - trailed, 77-76, with 3 seconds remaining.
- 74-67 loss at Eastern Washington - trailed, 70-67, with 17 seconds remaining.
- 71-64 loss at Montana St. - led, 61-60, with 2:30 left/one possession game in last minute.
- 76-68 loss at Portland State - led 55-53 with 4:30 remaining.
- 70-60 loss at Stanford - tied, 56-56, with 5:10 remaining/trailed, 63-60, with 3:21 left.
- 66-61 loss at UC Davis - tied, 61-61, with 1:12 left/one possession game in final minute.
- 96-90 loss to South Dakota - led, 81-80, with 4:39 left/one possession game in last minute.
PLENTY OF CLOSE OUTCOMES THIS SEASON
• Including the Hornets' 69-63 overtime win over Southern Utah on Thursday, Sacramento State has played in a number of tight games this season.
• Five of the Hornets' last six games, and eight of the last 11, have been decided by six points or less.
• For the season, Sacramento State has played 18 games decided by eight points or less, and is 8-10 in those games.
• Sacramento State has played eight games at home that have been decided by eight points or less, and the team is 6-2 in those contests.
• Of the Hornets' 17 conference games, 11 have been decided by eight points or less.
STRINGS DOESN'T PLAY LIKE A SOPHOMORE
• Sophomore Justin Strings has scored 20-plus points in five of the last eight games, including a career-high 26 points at North Dakota last Saturday. During that eight-game stretch, he is averaging 18.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting .491 (56-for-114) from the field.
• If those numbers weren't impressive enough, Strings has turned the ball over just five times in his last 383 minutes played, or one turnover per 76.6 minutes during that span.
• A 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward who can play on the inside and the perimeter, Strings has scored in double figures a team-high 25 times. He leads the team with 15.4 points per game, and has upped that mark in league play to 16.6 points per game.
• His averages of 16.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game during conference play are both the second best marks in the league among sophomores.
• He has started each of the last 17 games, has scored in double figures in 21 of the last 22 games, and has a team-high five double-doubles in league play.
• He averaged just 0.8 points, 0.7 rebounds and 4.2 minutes last year as a freshman.
GRAVES....ANOTHER SOPHOMORE MAKING HIS MARK
• A similar story to Justin Strings is another sophomore in guard Marcus Graves, who went from playing sparingly last year to the team's second leading scorer.
• After averaging 1.2 points and 5.3 minutes last season, Graves is averaging 12.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 34.3 minutes this season.
• He has scored in double figures 19 times, including five games with at least 20 points.
• Graves is the only Hornet to start all 28 games this year and has nearly a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.9).
• He ranks among the Big Sky's top seven players in assist-to-turnover ratio (4th), assists (4th), minutes (5th) and steals (7th).
DEMPS IS BACK
• After missing nine straight games with a thigh injury, fourth-year senior and team co-captain Cody Demps has returned to play in each of the last seven games.
• Its no secret the Hornets ran a crisper offense when Demps was healthy as the team was averaging 76.1 points and shooting .462 from the field prior to his injury. Since his injury, which coincided with the beginning of conference play, Sacramento State is averaging just 69.2 points on .433 shooting from the field.
• Demps, who has season averages of 12.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists, is averaging similar numbers of 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the seven games since his return.
• Demps had started 75 straight games and played 104 straight games prior to the injury.
• Demps, who has played four positions during his career, assumed the point guard duties for the first time this season.
FIRST PLAYER FROM TAIWAN TO RECEIVE DIV. I SCHOLARSHIP
• Not only does guard Jeff Wu have the title of first men's basketball player born in Taiwan to receive a Div. I athletic scholarship, but he has also become the Hornets' first or second players off the bench as a true freshman.
• Wu, who hails from Taipei City, Taiwan, is averaging 6.3 ppg while shooting .447 (67-of-150) from the field.
• Over the last eight games, however, Wu is averaging 4.5 points on just .279 shooting (12-of-43) from the field and .280 (7-of-25) from the 3-point line.
• Center Eric Stuteville had a Div. I-era (1991-pres.) program-record seven blocks vs. Southern Utah, eclipsing the previous school record of six, held by two players. Stuteville now easily leads the Big Sky with an average of 2.0 blocked shots per game
• Junior Nick Hornsby scored a season-high 16 points vs. Southern Utah, snapping a string of eight consecutive games in single digits.
• Reserve Trevis Jackson, who has a team-best +41 plus/minus ratio this season, received 11 minutes of playing time vs. Southern Utah, his most minutes in 14 games.
• The Hornets' win vs. Southern Utah marked the team's first OT game since Dylan Garrity buried a 75-footer at the OT buzzer to beat Weber State, 78-75, on Feb. 1, 2014.
March 10, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMES TO AN END WITH LOSS TO MONTANA
February 26, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TO PLAY SATURDAY MATINEE AT NORTH DAKOTA
February 25, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL GOES COLD LATE, FALLS AT NORTHERN COLORADO, 72-67
February 24, 2016 FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD TRIP; MEN'S HOOPS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
February 20, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL BEATS IDAHO AT HOME, 68-65; SWEEPS THE SEASON SERIES
February 19, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS IDAHO ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.
February 19, 2016 FORMER MEN'S BASKETBALL ASSISTANT COACH DWAYNE CANADA PASSES AWAY
February 18, 2016 BIG FIRST HALF PROPELS EASTERN WASHINGTON TO 93-88 WIN OVER MEN’S HOOPS
February 16, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS BACK AT THE NEST ON THURSDAY, HOSTS EASTERN WASHINGTON
February 13, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL’S LATE RUN FALL SHORT IN 66-64 ROAD LOSS AT IDAHO STATE
February 12, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO POCATELLO FOR SATURDAY GAME AT IDAHO STATE
February 11, 2016 MEN’S HOOPS HELD TO SEASON LOW IN POINTS IN 63-50 LOSS AT WEBER STATE
February 9, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO WEBER STATE FOR THURSDAY NIGHT GAME
February 5, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL HOSTS MONTANA STATE SATURDAY EVENING AT THE NEST
February 4, 2016 HUGE 2ND HALF HELPS MEN’S BASKETBALL BEAT FIRST-PLACE MONTANA, 83-79
February 3, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WELCOMES MONTANA TO THE NEST ON THURSDAY NIGHT
February 1, 2016 ANTICIPATION BUILDING ON THE ROAD TO RENO FOR BIG SKY TOURNAMENT
January 29, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS TRAVELS TO EASTERN WASHINGTON FOR SATURDAY MATINEE
January 28, 2016 MEN’S BASKETBALL GETS BIG ROAD WIN AT IDAHO, 65-63
January 27, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO IDAHO FOR THURSDAY EVENING MATCHUP
January 23, 2016 RED-HOT PORTLAND STATE RACES PAST MEN’S BASKETBALL
January 21, 2016 ROAD TO RENO PRIZE PACKAGE TO BE GIVEN AWAY AT SATURDAY'S MBB GAME
January 15, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WELCOMES WEBER STATE TO THE NEST ON SATURDAY NIGHT
January 13, 2016 MEN'S BASKETBALL FINALLY BACK AT HOME ON THURSDAY VS. IDAHO STATE
January 9, 2016 MEN’S HOOPS FALLS ON THE ROAD AT MONTANA
January 8, 2016 MEN'S HOOPS WRAPS UP ROAD TRIP ON SATURDAY EVENING AT MONTANA
January 7, 2016 LATE MONTANA STATE RUN DOOMS MEN’S BASKETBALL IN 71-64 LOSS
December 30, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY SATURDAY AT PORTLAND STATE
December 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 7-4 AFTER 78-49 VICTORY OVER PACIFIC UNION
December 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS PACIFIC UNION ON MONDAY IN FINAL NON-LEAGUE GAME
December 21, 2015 LATE STANFORD RUN SPOILS MEN’S BASKETBALL’S UPSET BID
December 20, 2015 MBB PLAYS AT STANFORD ON MONDAY; 1ST GAME VS. CARDINAL SINCE 2007
December 12, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO 6-3 AFTER 81-73 LOSS AT PORTLAND
December 10, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS ROAD STRETCH ON SATURDAY EVENING AT PORTLAND
December 8, 2015 JUSTIN STRINGS NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
December 7, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL MAKES BIG PLAYS LATE IN WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD
December 6, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS TO PLAY FIRST OF JUST TWO DECEMBER HOME GAMES ON MONDAY
December 2, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS HAS CHANCES TO WIN LATE, BUT FALLS AT UC DAVIS, 66-61
December 1, 2015 MEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS FOR SEASON SWEEP OF UC DAVIS ON WEDNESDAY
November 29, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS PACIFIC FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 2009 AT THE NEST TODAY
November 29, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 5-1 AFTER A 79-71 HOME WIN OVER PACIFIC
November 28, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS DROPS FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON TO SOUTH DAKOTA, 96-90
November 27, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS OPENS HOME TOURNEY SATURDAY VS. SOUTH DAKOTA AT 3:30 PM
November 24, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL IMPROVES TO 4-0 WITH AN 84-79 WIN OVER UC DAVIS
November 23, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS AND UC DAVIS HOOK UP FOR 113TH TIME ON TUESDAY AT THE NEST
November 20, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS IMPROVES TO 3-0 AFTER A 96-56 VICTORY OVER HOLY NAMES
November 19, 2015 HOME OPENER FOR MEN'S HOOPS THIS FRIDAY VS. HOLY NAMES AT 7 PM
November 17, 2015 GRAVES NAMED BIG SKY MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 16, 2015 NATIONAL WEEKLY AWARDS POURING IN FOR MEN'S HOOPS' MARCUS GRAVES
November 15, 2015 MEN'S HOOPS PLAYS 2ND ROAD GAME IN 3 DAYS ON SUNDAY AT SEATTLE
November 15, 2015 HUGE SECOND HALF PROPELS MEN’S HOOPS TO A 77-65 WIN AT SEATTLE
November 13, 2015 LATE RUN GIVES MEN’S BASKETBALL A 66-63 UPSET WIN AT ARIZONA STATE
November 11, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNS BEYER HIGH SCHOOL GUARD GEORGE DANCER
November 9, 2015 GAME NOTES: MEN'S HOOPS OPENS SEASON FRIDAY AT ARIZONA STATE
November 6, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES SIMPSON, 103-63, IN EXHIBITION GAME
November 2, 2015 DICKSON BECOMES 2ND PLAYER IN SCHOOL HISTORY DRAFTED IN NBA D-LEAGUE
October 27, 2015 ERNEST TSCHANNEN DONATES $750,000 TO POWER OF 1,000 HORNETS
September 30, 2015 MEN’S HOOPS SEASON QUICKLY APPROACHING, 1ST OFFICIAL PRACTICE ON FRIDAY
September 3, 2015 HEAD COACH BRIAN KATZ RECEIVES FIVE-YEAR COMMITMENT THROUGH 2020
June 29, 2015 MEN’S BASKETBALL ANNOUNCES ITS 2015-16 SCHEDULE