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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 2, 9:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Worthington Arena (7,250) -- Bozeman, Montana. Television: None. Home Record: Sacramento 3-1, MSU 3-1. Away Record: Sacramento 1-4, MSU 2-3. Neutral Record: Sacramento 0-0, MSU 0-2. Conference Record: Sacramento 0-0, MSU 0-0. Series Record: Montana State leads, 26-15.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams hoping to reach the .500 mark meet tonight, as the Montana State Bobcats and the Sacramento State Hornets tip off play in Big Sky Conference action from Worthington Arena.
Sacramento State, which has yet to record back-to-back wins this season, has another chance at reaching that mark tonight after posting a narrow 69-67 victory against UC Riverside last Sunday at home. The team has won two of its last three games overall, and is a solid 3-1 at home, but is just 1-4 in true road dates coming into the week.
Over on the other side, the Bobcats have a total of five wins on the campaign, although two of those are against foes from outside the Division I ranks, the latest being a 109-79 pounding of Southwestern Christian on Dec. 19. Four days later, MSU saw a three-game win streak come to an end with a 70-55 setback versus Texas-El Paso.
According to Sacramento State sources, the Bobcats lead the all-time series by a 26-15 margin, thanks in part to a 71-55 win in the most recent meeting last March.
Dylan Garrity played the hero for the Hornets the last time out as he knocked down a pair of free throws with under 10 seconds remaining to break a 67-67 tie with UC Riverside and give the hosts the win. Garrity finished with 14 points, one behind Mikh McKinney who made all eight of his attempts at the charity stripe.
McKinney and Garrity are the only double-digit scorers on the roster, averaging 14.9 and 12.2 ppg, respectively. The duo has knocked down a combined 36-of-90 behind the 3-point line, which means the rest of the roster has converted just 23 triples. As a group, the Hornets are producing only 63.4 ppg, but luckily the defense is limiting opponents to 66.4 ppg in order to keep things interesting.
After crushing Southwestern Christian by 30 points, placing five players in double figures, the Bobcats scored slightly more than half the 109 points they dropped only days earlier as they bowed to UTEP. Shooting a collective 34.5 percent from the field, MSU had only one player score in double figures this time around as Terrell Brown tallied 10 points. Coming off the bench, Flavien Davis accounted for eight points on just 2-of-9 from the floor.
Davis, the leading scorer on the season for the Bobcats, has watched his average drop to 10.2 ppg. The team as a whole is coming up with a decent 72.9 ppg, but a good chunk of the squad's 802 total points came from that SW Christian blowout. Marcus Colbert is second on the unit with 9.7 ppg and is first with 39 assists, an aspect of the game that Davis has little familiarity with since he has but seven dishes on the season.
As long as McKinney and Garrity can find their shots and the Hornets can play strong at the defensive end, Sacramento State should be in line for the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sacramento State 69, Montana State 63
01/02 10:33:03 ET
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