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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Nest (1,500) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: EWU 5-5. Sacramento State 7-3. Away Record: EWU 0-10, Sacramento State 3-7. Neutral Record: EWU 1-1, Sacramento State 0-0. Conference Record: EWU 4-8, Sacramento State 5-7. Series Record: EWU leads, 26-11.
GAMES NOTES: The Eastern Washington Eagles will try to avenge a loss from earlier in the season when they take on the Sacramento State Hornets in a Big Sky Conference conflict at the Nest on Thursday night.
Against conference leading Montana, Eastern Washington didn't put up much of a fight last time out in a 65-46 loss. The setback ended a short two-game win streak for the Eagles who are just 6-16 overall, including a 4-8 record in Big Sky action. Playing on the road isn't exactly a recipe for a turnaround though as the Eagles are winless in 10 trips. Eastern Washington is also on the road Saturday against Northern Arizona.
The three-game homestand the Hornets are currently in didn't get off to a good start as they fell to Northern Arizona, 62-61, on Monday. It was the second straight loss for the Hornets who are now an even 10-10 overall and just a game ahead of the Eagles in league play (5-7). The Nest has been a nice respite for the squad this season where the Hornets are 7-3. The homestand wraps up on Saturday against Portland State.
With its 60-53 victory earlier this season, Sacramento State has now won three of the last four meetings between these squads. However Eastern Washington still owns a commanding 26-11 edge in the all-time series.
Eastern Washington connected on just 37.5 percent of its shots from the floor in its loss to Montana. The Eagles were also outscored 18-6 in points off turnovers and by a 24-12 margin from beyond the arc, where they shot just 25 percent.
After already losing lead scorer Justin Crosgile (14.7 ppg) earlier this season the Eagles have yet again been hit by some bad news. Star freshman Venky Jois (13.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg) missed the game with Montana with a sprained ankle and is still listed as questionable in this contest. Without Jois, Colin Chiverton (10.4 ppg) becomes the top scoring option and the likely heir to Jois' starting spot. Even with Jois on the floor the Eagles have been one of the least efficient offensive teams in the Big Sky, shooting just 39.7 percent from the floor.
Sacramento State led by as many as 14 points against Northern Arizona but allowed the Lumberjacks to rip off a 21-5 run to take a 58-56 lead with 2:14 remaining. The Hornets regained the lead on a 3-pointer from Cody Demps but a costly turnover with less than a minute to play gave the Lumberjacks the win.
Four different players are scoring in double figures for the Hornets but outside of the starting lineup none are putting in more than 3.5 points per game. John Dickson (13.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) serves as top scorer and rebounder, while Mikh McKinney (13.3 ppg) has also been a consistent scorer. Dylan Garrity (12.4 ppg, 5.2 apg) has been selective with his shot, choosing to set teammates up more, but still shoots at an impressive 49.7 percent rate. Konner Veteto (10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) rounds out the double digit scorers.
When these teams first met Sacramento State took home the win. That was with the Eagles at full strength. Even if Jois is able to go it is unlikely that he will be 100 percent. Expect the Hornets to get back in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sacramento State 73, Eastern Washington 61
02/07 10:36:51 ET
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