Montana (16-11) at Sacramento State (13-14)
GAME NOTES: The Montana Grizzlies have won four consecutive games, and they'll seek a fifth as they travel to face the Sacramento State Hornets in a Big Sky Conference tilt at The Nest.
Montana has won four straight and eight of its last 10 games overall. The Grizzlies narrowly edged out intrastate rival Montana State, 53-50, on Monday in Missoula. Montana owns an 11-7 conference record entering this clash with Sacramento State.
The Hornets have dropped two straight contests, including an 80-67 defeat at the hands of Idaho State in their most recent outing Saturday. Sacramento State holds a 9-9 record in the Big Sky this season.
Montana has dominated the all-time series with Sacramento State, owning a 35-5 record over the Hornets entering this showdown. The Grizzlies were victorious in the only other head-to-head matchup with Sacramento State this season, an 82-70 win back on Jan. 4.
Montana held a 26-23 lead over Montana State at the end of the first half, which the Grizzlies would hold on to the rest of the way, although the Bobcats kept it close throughout. Jordan Gregory and Keron DeShields each netted 13 points to pace the Grizzlies in the win, with DeShields adding eight rebounds to his stat line. Mike Weisner chipped in with 11 points in the win. Montana connected on 42.6 percent shooting in the game, despite going just 7-of-24 from 3-point distance.
Kareem Jamar, who scored eight points in the win over Montana State, is continuing to have a special season for the Grizzlies in 2014. His 19.3 ppg average is a team high, along with his 5.7 rpg mark and 113 assists on the year. Jamar leads the Grizzlies in all three major categories, and is second on the squad in blocked shots (14) and in steals (25). Gregory adds 13.7 ppg, and DeShields chips in 12.3. Montana is scoring 72 ppg and giving up just 69.6 ppg to its opponents.
Sacramento State held a 36-32 lead over Idaho State at the end of the first half on Saturday, but really let things slip away in the second frame. The Bengals outscored the Hornets, 48-31, in the period to easily dig themselves out of the four-point hole and provide a nice safety cushion for the win. Dylan Garrity scored a team-high 26 points for Sacramento State in the loss, while Mikh McKinney added 13 points, five rebounds and seven assists, and Jordan Salley scored 11 points before fouling out.
McKinney leads the team with a 16.5 ppg average, hitting 48 percent of his shots on the season. McKinney also brings in a team-best 4.6 apg average to the table, and 1.3 spg. Garrity is second on the squad in scoring with 12.9 ppg, and Cody Demps tops the team with a 4.1 rpg mark. The Hornets are averaging just 68.7 ppg this season, and allowing opponents to score 69.3 ppg.
Finishing strong and bolstering seeding in the upcoming Big Sky Conference Tournament is sufficient motivation for Montana.
GAME NOTES: The Montana Grizzlies have won four consecutive games, and they'll
seek a fifth as they travel to face the Sacramento State Hornets in a Big Sky
Conference tilt at The Nest.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television:
None. Home Record: Montana 11-3, Sacramento State 10-2. Away Record: Montana
5-8, Sacramento State 3-12. Neutral Record: Montana 0-0, Sacramento State 0-0.
Conference Record: Montana 11-7, Sacramento State 9-9. Series Record: Montana
leads, 35-5.Game Date and Time
Thursday, March 6, 10:05 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Montana 77, Sacramento State 68