MEN'S BASKETBALL TO PLAY IN BIG SKY TOURNEY QUARTERS VS MONTANA ON THURSDAY AT 11 AM

MEN'S BASKETBALL TO PLAY IN BIG SKY TOURNEY QUARTERS VS MONTANA ON THURSDAY AT 11 AM

Full set of game notes (pdf)
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HORNETS AT THE BIG SKY TOURNAMENT

• Sacramento State's appearance in this year's Big Sky Conference Tournament is the team's sixth straight and 10th since joining the league in 1996.
•  The Hornets (15-15, 8-12) opened the tournament yesterday with a 72-60 win in the first round over No. 8 Northern Arizona. Sacramento State, which is the No. 9 seed, will now play top-seeded Montana on Thursday at 11 a.m. PDT in the quarterfinals. Montana received a first round bye after winning the regular season title. The Griz (23-8, 16-4) are one of two teams that won both meetings against Sacramento State in the regular season.
• All 11 Big Sky teams qualified for the league's postseason event and the Hornets were one of six teams that played yesterday in the first round. Other first round scores were No. 7 Southern Utah beating No. 10 Idaho State, 94-80, and No. 6 Montana State knocking off  No. 11 Idaho, 75-71.
• Prior to the 2015-16 season, only the top six or seven teams qualified for the league's postseason event. This season marks the fourth year in a row the tournament is being played on a neutral floor, and first at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The previous three Big Sky Tournaments were played in Reno, Nev.
• Since joining the Big Sky in 1996-97, the Hornets have reached the Big Sky Tournament 10 times, including four straight years from 2002-03 through the 2005-06 seasons, and six straight years from 2013-pres.
• The Hornets are 4-4 in their last five tournament appearances, including wins in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Sacramento State lost in the first round to Portland State a year ago.
• Sacramento State is 6-9 all-time in tournament play, including semifinal appearances in 2003, 2006 and 2015. The Hornets hosted quarterfinal games in 2004 and 2005, and lost to Weber State by six points or less both times. The Hornets have never reached the championship game.
• In Big Sky Tournament play, the Hornets are 0-2 at home, 2-2 on the road, and 4-5 on neutral floors.

VS. MONTANA

• Sacramento State lost both regular season meetings to Montana this year, one of just two teams that swept the Hornets during the year (Northern Colorado is the other).
• The Hornets were outscored in those two meetings, 86.5-62.0. In fact, Sacramento State suffered its two biggest margins of defeat in conference play to the Grizzlies - 87-56 in Missoula, and 86-68 last Saturday inside the Nest.
• Montana is shooting 57% (62-109) from the field and 55% (23-42) from the 3-point line against Sacramento State and owns a 34.0-27.5 advantage in rebounding.
• Conversely, the Hornets are shooting 41% from the field and 21% from distance.
• Junior center Joshua Patton is averaging 14.0 points and 4.5 rebounds vs. Montana, shooting at a blistering 83% (10-12) from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Marcus Graves is averaging 12.5 points, but has shot just 7-for-25 against the Griz.
• No other Hornet player is averaging more than eight points vs. Montana.
• Five Montana players are averaging double figures vs. the Hornets, including Ahmaad Rorie (16.0 ppg, 53% FG), Sayeed Pridgett (15.0 ppg, 62% FG), Michael Oguine (14.0 ppg, 53% FG) and Timmy Falls (11.0 ppg, 82% FG).

BIG SKY TOURNAMENT FORMAT

• This year's tournament features all 11 teams playing in a four-day, single-elimination
event that takes place in Boise's CenturyLink Arena from March 13-16.
• The top five seeds - No. 1 Montana, No. 2 Northern Colorado, No. 3 Eastern Washington, No. 4 Weber State and No. 5 Portland State - each received a first round bye.
• On Wednesday, there were three first-round games, including No. 8 Northern Arizona vs. No. 9 Sacramento State, No. 7 Southern Utah vs. No. 10 Idaho State, and No. 6 Montana State vs. No. 11 Idaho.
• On Thursday, there will be four quarterfinal games - No. 1 Montana takes on Sacramento State at 11 a.m. PDT, followed by No. 4 Weber State vs. No. 5 Portland State at 1:30 p.m. PDT, No. 2 Northern Colorado vs. No. 7 Southern Utah at 4:30 p.m. PDT, and No. 3 Eastern Washington facing No. 6 Montana State at 7 p.m. PDT. 
• The semifinals take place on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. PDT, and the championship is Saturday at 5:00 p.m. PDT on ESPNU.
• The Big Sky women's tournament takes place March 11-15, also at CenturyLink Arena.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS

• The first round, quarterfinal and semifinal games of the Big Sky Tournament will be shown on Pluto.TV channel 231. The quarterfinals and semifinals will also be televised on Eleven Sports, and the championship game will air on ESPNU.
• Every Sacramento State game during the tournament will broadcast live on ESPN 1320 AM with 22nd-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Live stats for every game of the tournament will be available via bigskystats.com.
• Links for all multimedia options for every Sacramento State game of the tournament can be found on the men's basketball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.