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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dahlberg Arena (7,321) -- Missoula, Montana. Television: None. Home Record: Sacramento 3-1, Montana 3-2. Away Record: Sacramento 1-5, Montana 2-3. Neutral Record: Sacramento 0-0, Montana 0-0. Conference Record: Sacramento 0-1, Montana 0-1. Series Record: Montana leads, 34-5.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams hoping to rebound from losses in their Big Sky Conference openers square off on Saturday night, as the Sacramento State Hornets visit the Montana Grizzlies.
Luckily for the Grizzlies, they'll be welcoming a group they've beaten 13 consecutive times. The last time Sacramento State upended Montana was on Jan. 4, 2007, and they haven't won in Missoula since the 2002-03 campaign.
Montana, though, is coming off a rare home loss against a Big Sky rival. Northern Arizona came into Dahlberg Arena on Thursday and pulled out a 73-65 decision, snapping Montana's 31-game home unbeaten streak in league play, and ending the Grizzlies' four-game win streak overall.
The Grizzlies were outscored in the second half, 44-28, to spoil a terrific performance from Kareem Jamar, who filled the stat sheet with 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Jordan Gregory added 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field.
Jamar leads the team in scoring (19.8 ppg), rebounding (6.7 rpg) and assists (5.0 apg) and is complemented by Gregory (13.1 ppg) and Keron DeShields (11.7). The Grizzlies, though, have been allowing opponents to shoot 48.5 percent from the floor, a number that surely needs to come down if they are to repeat as conference champs.
Sacramento State opened Big Sky play on Thursday by falling at Montana State, 70-55, which was the team's third straight loss on the road. The Hornets never led in the contest and were done in by a 32 percent shooting effort that had them down by 10 at the break.
Zach Mills netted a game-high 19 points for the Hornets, shooting 8-of-13 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from the perimeter, while Dylan Garrity added 11 points. Mills' production was a welcome sight since the Hornets usually rely heavily on the likes of Garrity and Mikh McKinney at the offensive end of the court. McKinney provides 13.8 ppg, while Garrity is not far behind at 12.1 ppg.
The team as a whole is scoring just 62.6 ppg, four points more than its opponents are putting up. All four of Sacramento State's wins have come when the team scores at least 69 points.
Expect Montana to easily rebound from its loss on Thursday, and for Sacramento State's winless streak in Missoula to reach 11 consecutive games.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montana 80, Sacramento State 60
01/04 10:38:27 ET
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