North Dakota (7-10) at Sacramento State (8-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Hornets Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: UND 6-3, Sacramento 5-2. Away Record: UND 1-7, Sacramento 3-6. Neutral Record: UND 0-0, Sacramento 0-0. Conference Record: UND 4-4, Sacramento 3-5. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: North Dakota tries to extend its win streak to four games, as it challenges the Sacramento State Hornets in Big Sky Conference action on Thursday night.
North Dakota, which had a total of just four wins through the first 14 games of the season, only two of which came against Division I foes, is enjoying a three-game win streak at the moment. The team posted an 85-76 victory over Portland State at home last Saturday, which means it is now an even 4-4 in conference play.
As for the Hornets, they have hit a bit of a rough patch in the schedule with just one win in the last four outings and two in eight games. Last Saturday, the squad closed out a four-game road trip with a 65-56 setback against Weber State. With the defeat, Sacramento is now just 3-5 in league play.
The series between these two is tied at 1-1, with the Hornets winning the one previous contest played in Sacramento last season by a score of 75-64.
Aaron Anderson and Troy Huff both exploded for 25 points against Portland State last weekend, the pair combining to shoot 16-of-25 from the floor and a perfect 13-of-13 at the free-throw line as the team was 21-of-21 at the charity stripe overall. Jamal Webb accounted for another 16 points for a squad that converted 52.8 percent from the field and 8-of-16 out on the perimeter. Webb, who averaged 21.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 3.5 steals per contest last week, was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for the second time this year. Along the way he also notched the 1,000th point of his career, becoming the 32nd player in program history to reach that plateau. Huff is now averaging 17.4 ppg on the season overall, followed by Anderson (14.4 ppg) who is hitting 3-point attempts at a 42.7 percent clip.
Very few teams have figured out how to knock off Weber State, particularly in Utah, and the Hornets were just one more opponent that the Wildcats took down last week. Part of the problem for Sacramento was that the squad made just 1- of-8 shots behind the 3-point line, finishing at 39.0 percent from the floor overall in the visit to the Dee Events Center. Dylan Garrity was responsible for 20 points and four of the unit's six assists, while Konner Veteto responded with 16 points and a team-best eight rebounds. Although he didn't reach double figures against WSU, John Dickson remains the top scorer for the Hornets with his 13.9 ppg, one of four in double digits for a program that generates 67.9 ppg. Veteto (11.6 ppg) is the leader in the paint with 6.6 rpg, but he could stand to practice a bit more at the free-throw line (.592) since the games are becoming more and more important.
Huff has become a standout performer in the Big Sky already for UND, and he should again be the focal point of this matchup as the visitors shoot for the victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota 65, Sacramento State 61
01/24 10:31:22 ET