Montana (7-7, 3-4) vs. Sacramento State (5-3, 3-2)
The Hornets Nest, Sacramento, California; Saturday, 2:05 a.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Montana looks for its ninth straight win in the head-to-head series over Sacramento State. Montana has won by an average of 11 points in its last eight wins over the Hornets. Sacramento State’s last win in the series came on Feb. 16, 2017, a 67-65 win.
TALE OF TWO ROSTERS: Sacramento State has depended on senior leadership while Montana has been fueled heavily by freshmen this year. Seniors Ethan Esposito, Bryce Fowler, William FitzPatrick and Samaad Hector have collectively accounted for 62 percent of Sacramento State’s scoring this season. On the other side, freshmen Kyle Owens, Brandon Whitney and Josh Bannan have combined to score 44 percent of the team’s points this year.
DIALING IT UP A NOTCH: The Hornets have scored 68.4 points per game against conference opponents so far, an improvement from the 45 per game they recorded against non-conference competition.EXCELLENT ETHAN: Esposito has connected on 17.6 percent of the 17 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 2 of 6 over the last three games. He’s also made 76.1 percent of his free throws this season.
FLOOR SPACING: Sacramento State’s FitzPatrick has attempted 48 3-pointers and connected on 35.4 percent of them, and is 8 for 22 over the past three games.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Grizzlies have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Hornets. Sacramento State has an assist on 33 of 69 field goals (47.8 percent) across its past three outings while Montana has assists on 39 of 67 field goals (58.2 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Sacramento State defense has allowed only 60.8 points per game to opponents this season, ranking the Hornets 12th among Division I teams. The Montana offense has averaged 68.9 points through 14 games (ranked 214th, nationally).
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