UC Irvine (4-3) at Sacramento State (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 10:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: UCI 3-2, Sac. St 1-0. Away Record: UCI 1-1, Sac. St 1-2. Neutral Record: UCI 0-0, Sac. St 0-0. Conference Record: UCI 0-0, Sac. St 0-0. Series Record: Sacramento State leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The UC Irvine Anteaters step into The Nest to take on the Sacramento State Hornets in a non-conference tilt on Saturday night.
UC Irvine is coming off Sunday's 81-58 win over Eastern Washington as part of the 2K Sports Classic. The win was the fourth for the Anteaters in their last five games. Tonight's contest begins a stretch that will see UCI play six of its next seven on the road.
Sacramento State has split its first four games of the season. The Hornets were in action Tuesday night, as they snapped a two-game slide with a 73-67 win at UC Davis. Following this tilt, they'll be idle until Dec. 7 at UTEP, one of only four scheduled games for the month of December.
Sacramento State holds a 2-1 lead in the all-time series with UCI.
Coming off a six-point loss to Boston University one day earlier, the Anteaters turned in a solid performance on both sides of the court in their win over Eastern Washington. UCI closed out the first half with a 12-0 run and then maintained at least a 20-point lead throughout the second stanza. The Anteaters committed a season-low six turnovers for the game while also holding a sizeable 27-6 edge in bench points. Defensively, they held Eastern Washington to 30-percent shooting from the floor. Luke Nelson led the way with 19 points, followed by Alex Young with 16, and Will Davis II with 10. Nelson and Young combined to knock down 9-of-13 3-pointers as they continued to provide an outside shooting presence to complement leading scorer and rebounder Davis (13.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg).
Leading the way for Sacramento State is the guard tandem of Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney. Garrity, a 46.4-percent shooter from beyond the arc, paces the squad with 15.2 ppg, while McKinney is scoring 14.2 ppg. Perimeter defense has been a particularly troubling area for the Hornets, who have allowed foes to shoot a ridiculous 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. UC Davis shot 55.6 percent from the floor and made 6-of-15 threes (.400) in Tuesday's matchup, but the Hornets managed to seize control in the second half by going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc and making 20-of-22 free throws. McKinney led five Hornets in double figures with 25 points, as he shot a perfect 10-of-10 at the charity stripe.
The Anteaters showed plenty of resiliency in their last contest, while Sacramento State managed to win despite shoddy defense. The Hornets will no doubt need to tighten up their defensive rotations before getting into the heart of their league schedule.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 75, Sacramento State 68
11/30 10:35:10 ET