Sacramento State (12-11) at Northern Colorado (8-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 9:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion (2,992) -- Greeley, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: Sacramento 9-3, UNC 6-4. Away Record: Sacramento 3-8, UNC 2-11. Neutral Record: Sacramento 0-0, UNC 0-0. Conference Record: Sacramento 7-8, UNC 6-9. Series Record: Northern Colorado leads, 9-4.
GAME NOTES: The Northern Colorado Bears try to register their first three-game win streak of the season as they clash with the Sacramento State Hornets in Big Sky Conference action at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion on Saturday night.
Despite being just 8-15 on the season overall, the Bears have been somewhat respectable in conference play with six wins in 15 chances and are now tied with Northern Arizona for seventh place in the league standings heading into the weekend. Two nights ago, the team slipped by the aforementioned Lumberjacks at home, 76-68, to give UNC back-to-back wins for the third time here in 2012-13.
As for the Hornets, currently tied with Montana State for fifth place in the Big Sky with a record of 7-8, they too were in action on Valentine's Day and failed to land in the win column as they suffered a 49-48 setback versus North Dakota on the road. The defeat snapped what had been a brief two-game win streak for the program.
The Hornets won the first meeting of the season, 79-72, at home last month, which means the all-time series now favors UNC by a count of 9-4.
Trailing by double figures in the second half at North Dakota, the Hornets made a strong comeback bid in the final minutes of their meeting on Thursday night, but John Dickson had a game-winning 3-point attempt miss the mark at the buzzer. Dickson did record a double-double for the visitors with 19 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Konner Veteto who nearly pulled off a similar feat with 16 points and nine boards in the losing cause.
A starter in every game this season, Dickson leads the team in scoring with his 13.6 ppg and is also one of the top men on the glass with close to six rebounds per outing, but for someone who has his hands on the ball so much, Dickson should really have more than just 19 assists at this stage. Mikh McKinney (13.2 ppg), Dylan Garrity (11.8 ppg) and Veteto (10.6 ppg).
Tevin Svihovec scored a game-high 24 points as he helped guide the Northern Colorado Bears to the eight-point win over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in Big Sky Conference play at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion two nights ago. Also scoring in double figures for the Bears were Derrick Barden and Tate Unruh with 21 and 17 points, respectively, as the team shot an impressive 56.0 percent from the floor and survived 18 turnovers in front of the hometown crowd.
Unruh leads the team in scoring on the season overall, putting up 12.7 ppg, thanks to his 68-of-153 (.444) behind the 3-point line, while Svihovec (12.3 ppg) is responsible for keeping his teammates involved in the action with his 72 assists. Barden (12.1 ppg) may not have the best touch at the free-throw line these days (.628) but it is important to have him on the floor as much as possible due to his 8.7 rpg which is at least twice as many as anyone else on the roster.
By no means is UNC a dominant program at home this season, but the team did show some offensive spark against NAU and, considering how tough it was for the Hornets to come up with points, this meeting should fall in favor of the hosts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Colorado 69, Sacramento State 61
02/16 10:45:38 ET