MEN'S HOOPS OPENS BIG SKY PLAY ON SATURDAY AT HOME VS NORTHERN COLORADO

MEN'S HOOPS OPENS BIG SKY PLAY ON SATURDAY AT HOME VS NORTHERN COLORADO

Full set of game notes (26 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• After winning six of its nine non-conference games, Sacramento State (6-3) will enter the Big Sky Conference portion of the season on Saturday when the Hornets welcome Northern Colorado (6-5) to the Nest for a 7:05 p.m. matchup.
• Sacramento State's .667 winning percentage is the team's best non-conference mark since joining the Big Sky prior to the 1996-97 season.
• The six wins are also just one shy of last season's injury-riddled total which saw the Hornets go 7-25 overall and 4-14 in league play. After playing 18 conference games five straight years, the Big Sky has switched back to a 20-game league season this year.
• Sacramento State's 6-3 record matches its best nine-game start during the Div. I era (1991-pres.) as the 2015-16, 2012-13, and 2005-06 teams also accomplished the feat. The last time a Hornet squad bettered that mark was the 1987-88 team's 7-2 record.
• One big reason for the Hornets' improved record is the return of senior guard Marcus Graves who missed all of last year with a back injury. So far in 2018-19, he is averaging 15.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals per contest.
• Sacramento State is 4-0 at home this season, and 62-25 (.713 winning percentage) inside the Nest dating back to the 2012-13 season.
• This year marks the Hornets' 23rd season in the Big Sky, and the team is 6-16 in league openers, including a 6-6 mark when playing at home.
• Northern Colorado, picked to finish third in both the Big Sky's preseason media and coaches polls, has lost four straight games (all away from home). The only time the Bears have played at home since Nov. 13 was a victory over Johnson & Wales on Dec. 11. Eight of the team's 11 games thus far have come away from home.
• After squandering a six-point lead with less than a minute to play vs. Montana in last year's Big Sky Tournament semifinals, the Bears would eventually claim the CIT championship, becoming the first team in Big Sky history to win a postseason tournament.
• The Bears are paced by senior guard and preseason first team all-league selection Jordan Davis, who is first in the Big Sky and ninth in the nation with an average of 24.0 points per game. Northern Colorado has used the same starting lineup in 10 of the team's 11 games this season.
• The Bears have four players averaging double figures in points, including Jonah Radebaugh (12.0 ppg), Trent Harris (11.9 ppg) and Bodie Hume (10.6 ppg).
• Since Northern Colorado joined the Big Sky in 2006-07, the Hornets are 7-15 against the Bears. That includes a 5-6 mark when playing Northern Colorado at home. However, Sacramento State has won four of the last five meetings between the two teams at the Nest, including an 88-77 win in the regular season finale a year ago.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS

• Every game the remainder of the season can be viewed live and free on Pluto.TV. All home games can be found on Pluto.TV channel 233. The Pluto broadcasts can be watched online at Pluto.TV or by downloading the app for your mobile device.
• 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.