Sacramento State (10-12) at Portland State (11-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 10:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Peter W. Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: Sacramento 8-2, PSU 10-4. Away Record: Sacramento 2-10, PSU 1-7. Neutral Record: Sacramento 0-0, PSU 0-0. Conference Record: Sacramento 6-7, PSU 6-7. Series Record: Portland State leads, 26-11.
GAME NOTES: A couple of Big Sky Conference programs coming off defeats on Thursday night get right back to the hardwood tonight, as the Portland State Vikings host the Sacramento State Hornets at the Stott Center.
For the Hornets, they were cruising along with a four-game win streak, with all the victories taking place at home, but two nights ago the squad dropped in on Eastern Washington and was turned back in an 85-72 final. The loss dropped the Hornets to 6-7 in conference play, which means they are now one of four teams in the Big Sky tied for seventh place in the standings.
The Vikings are one of those other three programs with six wins in 13 league bouts heading into the weekend after coming up short against Northern Arizona the last time out, 65-63. Portland State has now dropped three straight decisions, but the good news for at least the time being is that the Vikings are still 10-4 in their own building.
Portland State owns a 26-11 advantage in the all-time series, winning the most recent meeting at Sacramento State last month in overtime, 68-64.
Mikh McKinney led the Hornets with 15 points, six boards, five assists and four steals, but still the team had a four-game win streak come to an end with their setback at Eastern Washington two night ago. Zach Mills and Dylan Garrity both delivered 10 points as Sacramento State fell behind right out of the chute and never recovered as it allowed the hosts to convert 55.8 percent from the field and 9-of-19 behind the 3-point line.
Through 13 league tests, McKinney leads the Hornets with his 16.2 ppg and is also first with 56 assists, but it is still difficult to get beyond the fact that he has made only 29.3 percent of his 3-point tries, particularly when you consider he has made good on 51.0 percent from the floor overall. Garrity chips in with 13.6 ppg and another 54 assists as the pair drives the offense as best they can.
The Vikings could have easily made it to overtime on Thursday night versus Northern Arizona, but the defense allowed the Lumberjacks' Kris Yanku to make the game-winning layup with just 0.4 seconds remaining in regulation. From an offensive standpoint, the Vikings were paced by Dashaun Wiggins who dropped in a game-high 19 points in a reserve role, followed by Tim Douglas with 16 as the pair combined to shoot 7-of-10 behind the 3-point line. Kyle Richardson came up a rebound shy of a double-double with his 13 points, while Marcus Hall added 10.
In conference play this season, Wiggins has asserted himself as one of the more reliable scorers for the Vikings with his 12.6 ppg, even though he has come off the bench more often than not and is playing only 23.2 minutes per outing. Gary Winston chimes in with another 12.1 ppg and Douglas 11.2 ppg, but the latter is shooting just 36.0 percent from the field. Richardson, who is 57.7 percent accurate, comes in with not only 10.3 ppg, but also 6.8 rpg to pace the program in the second category.
Even though the Hornets were riding a win streak recently, the fact remains that the team does not perform well on the road. Add to that PSU's dominance at home and the need for the Vikings to bounce back from such a tough loss on Thursday and this has all the makings of a Portland State win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland State 72, Sacramento State 66
02/15 10:29:26 ET