MEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO STAY UNBEATEN; PLAYS FIRST ROAD GAME THURSDAY AT UC SANTA BARBARA

MEN'S BASKETBALL LOOKS TO STAY UNBEATEN; PLAYS FIRST ROAD GAME THURSDAY AT UC SANTA BARBARA

Full set of game notes (26 pages) - pdf

GAME PREVIEW

• Winners of three straight games to start the season, Sacramento State (3-0) will play its first road game on Thursday at UC Santa Barbara (5-1). The Hornets and Gauchos will tip at The Thunderdome at 7:05 p.m.
• Sacramento State will attempt to start the season 4-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 team won its first four games of the season.
• This will be the third leg of a stretch of four straight games against Big West Conference competition. Sacramento State has already defeated the reigning Big West regular season champion (UC Davis) and the conference's reigning tournament champion (Cal State Fullerton). Fullerton was picked to finish second in this year's Big West preseason media poll, UC Davis was selected to third, and UC Santa Barbara picked fourth.
• Sacramento State is coming off an 87-82 overtime home win against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. The Hornets would have played five straight games against Big West opponents, but had their Nov. 16 game vs. Cal Poly postponed due to poor air quality related the Camp Fire. Sacramento State also plays CSUN this Saturday.
• The Hornets currently rank among the nation's top 10 teams (there are 353 Div. I teams) in 3-point field goal percentage defense (2nd, .214), steals per game (3rd, 11.3), rebounds per game (7th, 45.0) and turnovers forced per game (10th, 19.3).
• The Hornets have played their first three games in Sacramento (including the win over UC Davis at the downtown Golden 1 Center), but will now embark upon a season-high tying three-game road trip.
• The Gauchos currently have a 5-1 record and are off to their best start since the 2007-08 season. UCSB has won four straight, including a pair of wins over Big Sky Conference opposition - 88-69 vs. Montana State, and 76-69 vs. Portland State.
• In a series that dates back to 1953, Sacramento State is 1-5 all-time against UC Santa Barbara, which includes an 82-72 loss to the Gauchos inside the Nest a year ago. The Hornets are 1-2 when playing in Santa Barbara, including the team's lone win in the series, 51-50, at The Thunderdome on Feb. 23, 2013.
• The Hornets are coming off an injury plagued 2017-18 season in which the team finished 7-25 overall and 4-14 in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets had won at least 13 games five consecutive seasons until the seven-win output a year ago.
• The Hornets welcome back eight players and a redshirt from a year ago, including three starters. That includes six of the top eight scorers from last season.
• UC Santa Barbara returns just one starter from last year's 23-9/11-5 team, and that one starter is junior guard Max Heidegger, who has yet to play a game because of a concussion. Heidegger averaged 19.1 points per game a year ago.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS

• Saturday's game will be video streamed live on Big West TV.
• All Sacramento State home games inside the Nest, and road games played against a Big Sky Conference team, will be video streamed for free on Pluto TV and WatchBigSky.com. The Pluto broadcasts can be watched online at Pluto.TV or by downloading the app for your mobile device. Home games can be found on Pluto.TV channel 233.
• Every game this year will be broadcast live on ESPN 1320 AM with 22nd-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Links for all multimedia options, including live stats for every game, can be found next to each game on the men's basketball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.