Sacramento State (10-11) at Eastern Washington (10-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 9:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reese Court (5,000) -- Cheney, Washington. Television: None. Home Record: Sacramento 8-2, EWU 7-2. Away Record: Sacramento 2-9, EWU 1-11. Neutral Record: Sacramento 0-0, EWU 2-0. Conference Record: Sacramento 6-6, EWU 5-7. Series Record: Eastern Washington leads, 26-13.
GAME NOTES: The Sacramento State Hornets try to extend their current win streak to five in a row tonight, as they challenge the Eastern Washington Eagles in Big Sky Conference play.
The Hornets had won just six of their first 17 games, with two of those victories coming against the likes of UC Santa Cruz and William Jessup in the early going. More recently, the team began a run of four straight wins with an 84-78 decision over Idaho State at home, and continues with a 68-56 triumph versus a woeful Southern Utah group on Monday night in order to move to an even 6-6 in league play.
Trailing the Hornets in the standings is an Eastern Washington group that is just 5-7 against the rest of the Big Sky. The team had won two straight outings to kick off the month of February, but then suffered an 82-77 loss versus Montana last Saturday on the road.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Eagles lead by a count of 26-13, although Sacramento won the most recent encounter last month by a 75-64 score.
Mikh McKinney scored 15 points as the Sacramento State Hornets captured a 68-56 win over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in Big Sky Conference action at the Hornets Nest three nights ago. McKinney shot 5-of-8 from the floor and added six rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Hornets. Dylan Garrity accounted for 13 points and five assists, while Alex Tiffin cleared 10 rebounds. Defensively, the hosts held a hapless SUU squad to only 2-of-8 shooting behind the 3-point line.
McKinney, one of three players to have started every game for the Hornets, is generating 15.7 ppg as he shoots 49.4 percent from the field. In addition to being the primary scoring source for Sacramento, McKinney is also a key figure in getting the rest of the unit on track with his team-best 80 assists, Coming up three dishes behind is Garrity who is also posting 13.2 ppg, thanks to his 45.9 percent accuracy behind the 3-point line.
The Eagles have shown some serious scoring punch of late, but even their 77 points against Montana left them in the loss column at Dahlberg Arena last Saturday night. Tyler Harvey led the way for EWU with 24 points, making good on all 11 of his attempts at the free-throw line, but just 1-of-8 beyond the arc and 6-of-18 from the floor. Drew Brandon tacked on 19 points and Martin Seiferth came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he dropped in 12 points.
Harvey is playing close to 37 minutes per game, so it only makes sense that he has the ball in his hands more often than not, leading to his team-best 21.2 ppg. The youngster is hitting his free throws at an 88.4 percent clip, his 3- point tries at an impressive 44.3 percent for a squad that attempts more than 22 triples per contest. Venky Jois pitches in with 12.8 ppg and is first on the glass with 7.9 rpg.
The Hornets are hoping that their four-game win streak at home is something that can carry over to the road tonight, but they'll have to dial up the effort at both ends of the floor to make that happen.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sacramento State 77, Eastern Washington 72
02/13 10:23:25 ET