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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, February 4, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Colberg Court (1,200) -- Sacramento, California. Television: None. Home Record: NAU 4-4, SSU 7-2. Away Record: NAU 2-9, SSU 3-7. Neutral Record: NAU 1-1, SSU 0-0. Conference Record: NAU 4-7, SSU 5-6. Series Record: Northern Arizona leads, 32-10.
GAME NOTES: The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and the Sacramento State Hornets both attempt to bounce back from losses when the Big Sky Conference rivals meet at Colberg Court on Monday night.
NAU traveled to Southern Utah on Saturday and was saddled with the 78-67 defeat for its second straight loss following back-to-back victories. The setback dropped the Lumberjacks to just 7-14 overall and 3-7 in conference, and they have come out victorious in just two of 11 road tilts this year.
Sacramento State's latest game also came against Southern Utah, falling on the road last Thursday by a 79-67 margin. The loss came on the heels of two straight home victories for the Hornets, and while they are a game under .500 in Big Sky play (5-6), they are a game over .500 overall (10-9).
NAU owns a 32-10 advantage over Sacramento State in the all-time series, which includes a 57-50 triumph in the first meeting between the teams this season back on Jan. 3.
The Lumberjacks shot a respectable 43.6 percent from the field in their latest game, but the difference in the nine-point victory came at the foul line where they were outscored, 23-15. Max Jacobsen was solid in defeat, shooting 7-of-10 from the field for 17 points, while also ripping down seven rebounds. Gabe Rogers tacked on 13 points, Ephraim Ekanem tallied 12 off the bench, and Stallon Saldivar finished with a line of seven points, 12 rebounds and five assists. On the season, NAU hasn't fared particularly well at either end of the court, scoring just 66.7 ppg while ranking last in the conference in yielding 76.2 ppg to its opponents. Despite the team's relative mediocrity, it still boasts two of the league's top scorers in Rogers (16.2 ppg) and DeWayne Russell (15.2 ppg). Rogers shoots just 35.4 percent from the field but makes up for it with a .847 free-throw percentage, while Russell also brings 3.4 apg and 1.8 spg to the table.
Sacramento State was not only busy from the foul line in its latest game, but incredibly efficient as well, making 31-of-35 from the charity stripe (.886), but unfortunately its field goal percentage (.320) was not up to snuff as it ultimately suffered a 12-point loss. Dylan Garrity (18 points), Mikh McKinney (17 points), and John Dickson (14 points) combined to shoot 27-of-30 from the line, but just 9-of-28 from the floor. The Hornets are usually much more efficient from the field, making 42 percent of their attempts en route to 68.4 ppg, and outscoring their opponents (67.5 ppg) has allowed them to win more games that they have lost. Dickson paces the squad with 13.6 ppg while adding 5.9 rpg and 1.2 bpg, and McKinney is hot on his heels with 13.4 ppg. Garrity pours in 12.3 ppg and is one of the top floor generals in the Big Sky with more than twice as many assists (92) as turnovers (40). Konner Veteto tallies 11.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg to help round out a balanced attack.
With NAU's general struggles away from home and Sacramento State's success at Colberg Court (7-2), expect the Hornets to get back on track in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Sacramento State 73, Northern Arizona 66
02/04 10:32:14 ET
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