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MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS FIRST BIG SKY ROAD TRIP ON THURSDAY AT MONTANA

MEN'S HOOPS BEGINS FIRST BIG SKY ROAD TRIP ON THURSDAY AT MONTANA

Full set of game notes (26 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

• Fresh off a close home loss to Northern Colorado to open the Big Sky Conference season on Saturday, the Hornets (6-4, 0-1) will play their first conference road game of the year on Thursday at Montana (9-4, 2-0). Tip-off at Dahlberg Arena is 6:05 p.m. PST.
• In that game against Northern Colorado, Sacramento State squandered a five-point lead late, allowing the Bears to close the final 2:30 on a 12-2 run to win, 70-65.
• The Hornets posted their best non-conference winning percentage (6-3, .667) during the Div. I era (1991-pres.) and were Northern Colorado's late run shy of improving to 7-3 overall for the first time in 30 years.
• Still, the team's 6-4 record is its best since 2015-16 season, and matches its best 10-game mark during the Div. I era - the 2005-06, 2012-13 and 2015-16 teams also accomplished the feat. Both the 2005-06 and 2015-16 teams went on to 7-4 starts.
• The Hornets are 1-3 on the road this season, which includes a 20-point win at Cal State Northridge on Dec. 1. The Hornets have dropped two straight road contests, including defats at Portland and Washington. Sacramento State had a three-point halftime lead before eventually falling at Washington.
• The Hornets remain just victory away from matching last season's injury-riddled win total when the team finished 7-25 overall and 4-14 in league.
• One big reason for the Hornets' improved record is the return of senior guard Marcus Graves who missed all of last year with a back injury. So far in 2018-19, he is averaging 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.2 steals per contest.
• Sacramento State went 1-8 on the road against Big Sky teams last season, including four straight losses.
• One of those losses was a two-point overtime loss (71-69) to Montana. In that game, the Hornets squandered a five-point regulation lead with under three minutes to play.
• Sacramento State is 9-40 all-time against Montana, including a 2-23 record in Missoula. However, each of the last three meetings at Dahlberg Arena between the two teams have been decided by seven points or less. That includes the Hornets' 67-65 win during the 2016-17 season.
• Montana will enter Thursday's game on a three-game winning streak with each of those wins coming on the road. The Grizzlies, who are the defending Big Sky regular season and tournament champions, were picked to finish first in both the conference's preseason coaches and media polls.
• Montana is 4-0 at home, and has won 19 straight games at Dahlberg Arena dating back to the 2016-17 season.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS

• Every game the remainder of the season can be viewed live and free on Pluto.TV. All home games can be found on Pluto.TV channel 233. The Pluto broadcasts can be watched online at Pluto.TV or by downloading the app for your mobile device.
• Thursday's game can be found on Pluto.TV, channel 237.
• Every game this year will be broadcast live on ESPN 1320 AM with 22nd-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling all the action.
• Links for all multimedia options, including live stats for every game, can be found next to each game on the men's basketball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

Sacramento State's full set of game notes can be found by clicking on the link above the story.