Idaho State (5-22) at Sacramento State (13-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 2, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: Idaho State 4-6, Sacramento State 9-4. Away Record: Idaho State 1-13, Sacramento State 4-9. Neutral Record: Idaho State 0-3, Sacramento State 0-0. Conference Record: Idaho State 3-11, Sacramento State 7-10. Series Record: Sacramento State leads, 25-16.
GAMES NOTES: Two teams near the bottom of the Big Sky Conference will square off on Saturday night at the Nest when the Idaho State Bengals collide with the Sacramento State Hornets.
The Bengals are at the bottom of the Big Sky. Idaho State is a miserable 5-22 overall on the season, while sporting an ugly 4-13 league mark. The Bengals have lost three straight games since a surprising rout (87-51) of Montana State. This is the final road game of the season for the Bengals who have just one win in 14 previous trips.
As things currently stand, Sacramento State is on the outside looking in at the Big Sky Tournament. Only seven teams make the cut for the postseason and at 7-10 in league action the Hornets are a half game behind Northern Colorado for that seventh spot. Sacramento State has lost three of its last four games to drop to that position. Sacramento State will finish its season with bouts at Montana and Montana State next.
Tomas Sanchez got a jumper to fall to lift Idaho State to a 60-59 victory over Sacramento State in Pocatello earlier this season. The win was the second in the last three meetings for the Bengals who lead the all-time series, 25-16.
Idaho State was horrendous in the second half in its 67-58 loss to Northern Arizona on Thursday. The Bengals actually held a lead at halftime but registered just three field goals in the final 20 minutes to surrender the decision.
Offensive struggles have been hampering Idaho State all season. The Bengals are not only dead last in the league in points (56 pg), assists (9.9 pg) and field goal percentage (.405) but also among the 50 worst teams nationally in each of those categories. The Bengals are also the Big Sky's worst rebounding team (27.4 pg), ranking in the bottom three teams in the country in that area. Melvin Morgan (12.1 ppg) and Chris Hansen (11.4 ppg) each shoot just over 36 percent from the floor but are the best scoring options that the Bengals have. Sanchez (10.4 ppg, 3.7 apg) shoots a more efficient 43.7 percent and leads the team in assists.
Against one of the Big Sky's best, Sacramento State couldn't keep up in a 70-55 setback against Weber State on Thursday. The Hornets shot under 40 percent from the floor in the contest and were outscored 33-12 from beyond the arc.
Although it has four players averaging in double figures, Sacramento State hasn't exactly been lighting up the scoreboard this season. The Hornets are putting in 66 points per game, which while ahead of Idaho State, is worse than every other Big Sky team. John Dickson (13.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is the leading scorer on the roster though he shoots just over 40 percent from the floor. Mikh McKinney (12.7 ppg), Dylan Garrity (11.7 ppg) and Konner Veteto (10.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg) are all averaging in double figures as well. Garrity hasn't just been a scorer, as he leads the Big Sky in assists.
Sacramento State might not be one of the Big Sky's best offensive teams but the Hornets are better than the Bengals. Expect the Hornets to earn some revenge on Saturday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sacramento State 68, Idaho State 60
03/02 10:34:24 ET