Northern Colorado (16-8) at Sacramento State (12-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 22, 10:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Hornets Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: UNC 13-0, Sacramento 9-2. Away Record: UNC 3-8, Sacramento 3-10. Neutral Record: UNC 0-0, Sacramento 0-0. Conference Record: UNC 10-5, Sacramento 8-7. Series Record: Northern Colorado leads, 11-8.
GAME NOTES: Within striking distance of first place in the Big Sky Conference standings, the Northern Colorado Bears go on the attack against the Sacramento State Hornets tonight in California.
On Thursday night, the Bears easily cruised to a 74-59 win over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on the road, pushing the team to 10-5 in league play. Coupled with an unexpected loss by Weber State against Montana and now UNC is just one game out of first place in the standings heading into the weekend.
Meanwhile, Sacramento State has been very strong in the month of February, winning two straight and six of the last seven outings overall, thanks to a 71-65 triumph versus North Dakota two nights ago. The team is now 8-7 in conference play, with just a handful of contests remaining before the start of the league tournament the second week of March.
In terms of the all-time series between these two programs, the Bears are ahead by a count of 11-8 after posting a 72-62 victory in the first encounter of the season just last month.
Tate Unruh converted 6-of-8 shots behind the 3-point line, finishing with a game-high 24 points, as the Northern Colorado Bears captured the 15-point win against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in a Big Sky Conference showdown at the Walkup Skydome two nights ago. Also scoring in double figures for the Bears were Derrick Barden and Tim Huskisson with 21 and 10 points, respectively. UNC, which led by as many as 20 in the meeting, connected on an impressive 11-of-18 out on the perimeter.
Barden, a 58.1 percent shooter from the floor, leads the program in scoring with 14.1 ppg and is also tops on the glass with 8.2 rpg. Unruh ranks second in the scoring department with 12.3 ppg, thanks in large part to his 41.6 percent effort behind the 3-point line, a performance that has helped to lift the entire unit to 40.8 percent on the season as they generate 75.4 ppg while converting 50.1 percent from the floor overall.
Mikh McKinney scored 19 points and handed out six assists to help lead the Sacramento State Hornets to a 71-65 win over North Dakota in Big Sky Conference play at the Hornets Nest. Nick Hornsby accounted for 15 points off the bench for the Hornets. The difference in the meeting took place at the charity stripe where Sacramento held a 21-15 scoring edge.
One of three players to have started all 24 games for the Hornets, McKinney is pacing the group in scoring at the moment with his 15.9 ppg, converting 48.6 percent of his field goals and an impressive 84.3 percent at the free-throw line. A 3-point specialist with 45.8 percent accuracy out on the perimeter, Dylan Garrity pitches in with another 12.8 ppg, but still this is a group that is posting a modest 68.4 ppg and giving up 68.9 ppg.
With Barden and Unruh leading the charge on the inside and from distance, respectively, even being on the road shouldn't keep the Bears from continuing their assault on the rest of the league.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Colorado 72, Sacramento State 66
02/22 10:48:05 ET