Men's College Basketball
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Portland State (5-15) at Sacramento State (11-10)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 10:05 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: The Nest (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: Portland State 5-4. Sacramento State 8-3. Away Record: Portland State 0-11, Sacramento State 3-7. Neutral Record: Portland State 0-0, Sacramento State 0-0. Conference Record: Portland State 3-10, Sacramento State 6-7. Series Record: Portland State leads, 24-11.

GAMES NOTES: The Sacramento State Hornets will try to reach .500 in conference play when the Portland State Vikings come to the Nest for a Big Sky Conference battle on Saturday night.

The miserable season it has endured continued for Portland State on Thursday in a 79-72 loss to Northern Arizona. The setback was the seventh straight for the Vikings who are just 5-15 overall and 3-10 in league play. Playing on the road has proved to be a futile exercise for the Vikings who are winless in 11 trips this season.

Sacramento State put an end to a two-game slump on Thursday with a 61-55 win over Eastern Washington. The victory moved the Hornets back over .500 overall (11-10), while improving their record in Big Sky play to 6-7, now tie with Northern Arizona for sixth in the conference standings. Sacramento State has played well at the Nest with a mark of 8-3 on its home floor.

On Jan. 10 these teams matched up at the Stott Center and it was Portland State that rolled to an 87-69 victory. It was the 11th win in the last 12 meetings for the Vikings, who lead the all-time series, 24-11.

In its loss to Northern Arizona, Portland State trailed by as many as 21 points and never led past the first minute. The Vikings shot at just a 41 percent clip in the contest and were outscored 30-9 from beyond the arc.

It has not been uncommon for Portland State to be lit up on the defensive end of the floor. The Vikings are surrendering 72.1 points per game on the campaign, allowing teams to shoot at a 49.1-percent rate. That opponent's field goal percentage is among the 10 worst in the country. Aaron Moore (12.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Renado Parker (11.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg) showed how effective they can be in the frontcourt against Northern Arizona as each posted a double- double. However, efforts like those have been few and far between. Michael Harthun (10.3 ppg) and Lateef McMullan (10.1 ppg) score in double figures out of the backcourt.

Despite shooting just 40 percent from the field against Eastern Washington, Sacramento State was able to get past the Eagles by outscoring them 20-3 from the free-throw line. The crucial portion of the contest came when the Hornets pulled off a 10-0 run to take a 54-48 lead with 4:15 remaining.

Just like their record, the Hornets have fought to just about even on the scoreboard this season. Sacramento State is netting 67.7 points per game, while yielding 66.7 points per game. Sacramento State also has four different players scoring in double figures on its roster. Tops among them is John Dickson (13.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg), who teams with Konner Veteto (10.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg) in the frontcourt. On the perimeter, Mikh McKinney (13.0 ppg) and Dylan Garrity (12.5 ppg, 5.2 apg) have been a solid one-two punch. Garrity is perhaps the most important player on the squad as he leads the league in assists and shoots 49.4 percent from the floor.

With the tables turned in terms of homecourt advantage, Garrity and company should be able to even their conference record against the struggling Vikings.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sacramento State 68, Portland State 62

02/09 10:33:04 ET

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