Montana (6-7, 2-4) vs. Sacramento State (5-2, 3-1)
The Hornets Nest, Sacramento, California; Thursday, 8:05 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Montana looks for its eighth straight win in the head-to-head series over Sacramento State. Montana has won by an average of 11 points in its last seven wins over the Hornets. Sacramento State’s last win in the series came on Feb. 16, 2017, a 67-65 win.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED: Sacramento State has been fueled by senior leadership while Montana has depended on freshmen this year. Seniors Ethan Esposito, Bryce Fowler, William FitzPatrick and Samaad Hector have collectively accounted for 61 percent of Sacramento State’s scoring this season. On the other bench, freshmen Kyle Owens, Josh Bannan and Brandon Whitney have combined to score 44 percent of the team’s points this year.
STEPPING IT UP: The Hornets have scored 69 points per game against conference opponents thus far, an improvement from the 45 per game they managed against non-conference opponents.EFFECTIVE ETHAN: Esposito has connected on 21.4 percent of the 14 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 2 for 6 over his last three games. He’s also converted 79.4 percent of his foul shots this season.
SHARING THE BURDEN: Sacramento State is a perfect 5-0 when at least four of its players score 10 or more points. The team is 0-2 when fewer than four Hornets players score in double-figures.
FLOOR SPACING: Montana’s Bannan has attempted 23 3-pointers and has connected on 13 percent of them.
DID YOU KNOW: The Sacramento State defense has allowed only 58.3 points per game to opponents this season, ranking the Hornets fourth among Division I teams. The Montana offense has averaged 68.2 points through 13 games (ranked 221st, nationally).
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