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Game Notes (25 pages) - pdf


Sacramento State (2-4) will play for the first time in seven days when the team hosts William Jessup (5-7) on Saturday, Dec. 14, at The Nest…tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m…the game is part of a day-night doubleheader than will see the Hornet women host UC Irvine at 2:05 p.m…Saturday is also Sports Chalet Kids Day, where free posters will be given out, and players will be available after the men's game to sign autographs…Saturday will mark the first of just three non-conference games remaining on the regular season schedule for the Hornets…others include Dec. 21 at Cal State Fullerton, and Dec. 29 at home vs. UC Riverside…the Hornets are coming off a 69-51 loss at UTEP last Saturday which wrapped up a stretch that saw Sacramento State play four of five games on the road…of the Hornets' six games thus far, all have been decided by six points or more…Sacramento State is 1-1 at home, and 1-3 on the road…the Hornets and William Jessup have played seven times previously with Sacramento State winning each of those meetings by an average of 29.7 points per game…each of those seven games were played at The Nest…in the teams' last meeting on Dec. 10, 2010, the Hornets won by 11 points (65-54) in a game that saw William Jessup trail by just seven points with a minute to play…the Warriors are an NAIA affiliate based in Rocklin, Calif., and play in the California Pacific Conference…Saturday will conclude a five-game road trip for William Jessup that has seen the team go 1-3 thus far on the trip…William Jessup is the defending California Pacific regular season champions…Saturday's game can be heard over the airwaves on KTKZ 1380 AM The Answer and on the internet at www.hornetsports.com with 17th year play-by-play announcer Steve McElroy calling all the action…like every home game, and every contest played at a Big Sky venue, a free live video stream of the game can be found at www.WatchBigSky.com…live stats can be found via www.hornetsports.com.


For the sixth straight year, all of Sacramento State's home games and any game played in a Big Sky Conference venue will be aired live and free via video stream at www.WatchBigSky.com. Fans only have to register for an account, and the games are free to watch. In addition, all games will be broadcast live over the airwaves on KTKZ 1380 AM The Answer and online at www.hornetsports.com with 17th-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action. Live stats will be offered for every home game via www.hornetsports.com as well.


Sacramento State has converted at least one three-pointer in 554 straight games. It has been over 20 years since the Hornets failed to convert a three ball. The last time the program was blanked from beyond the arc came on Nov. 28, 1993, when the Hornets went 0-for-6 in a loss on the road at Montana State.


Last May, the NCAA men's basketball rules committee voted on changes intended to cut down the amount of physical play and encourage a more open style of play. The NCAA warned that more fouls would likely be called. In Sacramento State's case, that has certainly rang true. Through six games, the Hornets have been whistled for 131 fouls, or 21.8 per contest. In comparison, last year's team was whistled for just 95 fouls through the first six games, and finished the season with 16.0 fouls per game. A Hornet has fouled out of a game six times this season after finishing with that same amount through 29 games last year.


With the Hornets averaging more than 20 fouls per game, the opponents have taken advantage, going to the free throw line a ridiculous 161 times already. That breaks down to a robust 26.8 free throw attempts per game, which is partially to blame for the team's 2-4 record. Opponents have shot at least 20 free throws in all but one game, including 45 by UTEP on Saturday. The opposition has attempted 56 more free throws (161-105) and converted 33 more of those freebies (105-72)  than Sacramento State.


Though its very early in the season, here are a few trends worth monitoring...Sacramento State is 2-0 when outrebounding the opposition, and 0-4 when getting outrebounded…2-0 when the Hornets attempt more free throws, 0-4 when shooting less free throws…2-0 when scoring at least 70 points, 0-4 when failing to score 70.


Sacramento State limited UTEP to a .439 field goal percentage which snapped a string of three straight games in which the opposition shot at least .538 from the floor. Opponents have shot .478 overall this season, including .398 from the 3-point line, and both marks rank in the bottom third of the Big Sky. All of this comes one year after the Hornets allowed just 65.7 points per game, the best mark in over 40 years. Opponents are currently averaging 69.7 points per contest.


A good chunk of the team's scoring this season has come from the back court of junior point guard Dylan Garrity and junior shooting guard Mikh McKinney. The duo combines to form one of the best back courts in the Big Sky Conference, and, together, have scored nearly 50 percent (.451) of the team's points this season. McKinney (14.8 ppg) and Garrity (12.7 ppg) are the only Hornets averaging better than 7.0 points per contest and one of the two has led the team in scoring in all but one game thus far.


Academically, of the 18 Hornets that have expired their eligibility under head coach Brian Katz, 14 have graduated, and three more are on pace to graduate during the 2013-14 academic year.


Unlike the last few years, head coach Brian Katz has stuck with the same starting five, for the most part, in each of the first five games. The combination of guards Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney, swingman Cody Demps and forward Alex Tiffin has started every game this season. At center, Joey Quigley has started three games, true freshman Eric Stuteville has started two, and senior Jordan Salley got the nod against UTEP. The team is 2-1 when Quigley gets the start at center, 0-2 when Stuteville starts, and 0-1 when Salley starts.


Junior point guard Dylan Garrity, who has been the Hornets' starting point guard the moment he stepped foot on campus two years ago, continues to impress. Already fourth in school history in career assists (353), Garrity has increased his scoring average from 8.1 ppg as a freshman, to 11.6 ppg as a sophomore, and currently 12.7 ppg this season. He is shooting .471 (16-34) from beyond the 3-point line, and his average of 2.7 makes per game is the second best mark in the Big Sky. Perhaps most impressive, he has turned the ball over just six times in 190 minutes this year (one every 31.7 minutes) despite averaging nearly 32 minutes a game and playing a highly demanding position. His 2.8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is the best mark in the Big Sky.


In Saturday's game at UTEP, Dylan Garrity injured his left ankle with 8:21 remaining in the first half. He returned for the final two and a half minutes, but did not play at all in the second half because of the injury. X-rays performed on the ankle were negative, and he is questionable to play on Saturday against William Jessup.


Junior shooting guard Mikh McKinney, who shares the team captain duties with Dylan Garrity, is currently averaging 14.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting .446 (29-65) from the field and .917 (22-24) from the free throw line. He has scored in double figures in all but one game, including a season-best 25 points at UC Davis, and 22 more at UTEP. The Union City, Calif., native has started all 35 games during his Sacramento State career after transferring from Ohlone College. He has scored in double figures in 24 of those games. McKinney is averaging 19 points over his last three games, and his .917 free throw percentage is the 20th best mark in the nation.


Last season as a true freshman, swingman Cody Demps averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.8 minutes of playing time. What a difference a year makes. This season, Demps is not only getting huge minutes (29.2 per game), he is making the most of the added playing time, averaging 7.0 points and a team-high 5.2 rebounds per game. Including his career-high 16 points against UC Irvine, he has scored in double figures three times in the last five games after doing so twice all of last season. He also had his first career double-double (10 pts, 12 reb) at CSU Bakersfield. He's been somewhat feast or famine, having scored in double figures three times, and scoring two points or less in the other three games.


Over his last 22 games dating back to last season, senior forward Jordan Salley is shooting a ridiculous .704 (38-of-54) from the field. He finished last season by going 22-of-29 over his final 16 games, and is now 16-for-25 this year. The athletic Salley will often jump higher than his defender to set up a clean midair look at the basket. After averaging just 8.0 minutes the first three games this season, he has combined for 63 minutes over the last three games. Overall, despite averaging 14.5 minutes per game, he is fourth on the team with 6.2 points, and is averaging one point every 2.4 minutes on the floor.


Sacramento State, which is shooting .686 from the free throw line, has shot better than 76 percent from the stripe in three games, and under 59 percent in the other three…the Hornets will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak since the 2011-12 season.