Northern Arizona (5-15) at Sacramento State (5-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 28th, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: Northern Arizona 4-3, Sacramento State 4-6. Away Record: Northern Arizona 1-9, Sacramento State 1-8. Neutral Record: Northern Arizona 0-3, Sacramento State 0-0. Conference Record: Northern Arizona 1-7, Sacramento State 0-8. Series Record: Montana State leads, 31-10.
GAMES NOTES: The two teams at the bottom of the Big Sky Conference will face off at the Nest this evening, when Northern Arizona and Sacramento State meet in a conference clash.
This will be the second meeting between these two clubs this season with Northern Arizona taking the first 73-64 at home. This has stretched the Lumberjacks' lead in the all-time series to 32-9.
Since the victory over Sacramento State, Northern Arizona has failed to get in the win column. losing six straight and are currently just 1-7 in Big Sky play just ahead of the Hornets. Northern Arizona begins a five-game homestand with a date against Northern Colorado next time out.
Sacramento State has yet to notch a win in conference play and is currently last in the conference with an 0-8 mark. Overall the Hornets have lost nine straight. Sacramento State will be on the road against Northern Colorado when it next takes the hardwood.
In the first matchup between these clubs Northern Arizona shot a worse percentage than Sacramento State at 46.4 percent to 48.1. The Lumberjacks were able to overcome that by shooting a blistering 58.3 percent from the three point line and by outscoring the Hornets 14-8 from the free throw line. On the season, NAU is averaging only 63.0 points per game but has found a great deal of success in moving the ball at 14.1 assists per game, a mark that leads the conference. Junior guard Stallon Saldivar is the driving force, as he averages 5.3 helpers per game which is second in the conference. Freshman guard James Douglas is the primary target Saldivar looks for. Douglas is scoring 12.1 points per game to lead all Northern Arizona scorers. He can light it up from beyond the arc with a team leading 42.7 shooting percentage from three point range. Douglas tied a season high with 22 points in the last meeting with Sacramento State.
Although Sacramento State lost in that game, the Hornets have been the better offensive squad on the year, scoring 63.9 points per game and shooting 44.2 percent from the floor. Sacramento State also has the only player in the conference who sets his teammates up better than Saldivar. Dylan Garrity is that player as the freshman guard doles out 6.3 assists per game. His primary option is junior forward John Dickson. Dickson is netting 13.2 points per game. Junior swingman Joe Eberhard is the team's best rebounder at 6.1 per game and can also score in double figures somewhat regularly with a scoring average of 10.0 points per game. Senior forward Konner Veteto (9.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg) has shown the ability to score at a high rate after netting a season-high 25 points against Idaho State.
The stakes for this game are just bragging rights as neither squad will be having much of a say in the outcome of the Big West this season. Sacramento State will be at home and that may be the only advantage the Hornets need to get the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sacramento State 58, Northern Arizona 51
01/28 10:44:14 ET