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Sacramento State (14-15) vs. North Dakota (15-15)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 13, 4:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Events Center (11,500) -- Ogden, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: Sacramento State 11-3, North Dakota 11-3. Away Record: Sacramento State 3-12, North Dakota 4-9. Neutral Record: Sacramento State 0-0, North Dakota 0-2. Conference Record: Sacramento State 10-10, North Dakota 12-7. Series Record: Series is tied, 3-3.

GAME NOTES: The Sacramento State Hornets have little experience playing in postseason tournaments. On the other side, North Dakota's senior class has plenty of postseason appearances. The two teams tangle this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

The Hornets are seeded seventh in this event after finishing conference play at 10-10, their record for most wins since joining the league. They ended the season tied with Eastern Washington for the final spot in the tournament. Only seven of the 11-member teams qualify, and Sacramento State got in based on holding the tiebreaker over EWU. There are zero players with postseason experience on the Hornets' roster. In fact, Sacramento State is making its first postseason showing since reaching the semifinals of the 2006 tournament.

Sacramento State, which is 2-4 all-time in this event, has never won the Big Sky tourney. The Hornets, who joined the conference prior to the 1996-97 season, is 3-3 all-time against North Dakota, with the home team winning each time. This will be the first time the teams will meet on a neutral floor. UND won in Grand Forks 82-71 on Jan. 23, but then lost 71-65 in Sacramento on Feb. 20.

The Hornets snapped a three-game skid with an 84-59 home win over Montana State last Saturday. Mikh McKinney's 19 points boosted the Hornets to the tournament-clinching triumph. Cody Demps added 17 points for Sacramento State, while Eric Stuteville and Dylan Garrity tallied 12 points apiece, with Garrity adding six assists. Jordan Salley hauled in 10 rebounds for the hosts.

McKinney (16.3 ppg), who has scored in double figures in 13 straight games, is averaging 14 points and five assists vs. North Dakota. Garrity (13.0 ppg) is shooting 45.8 percent from 3-point range. Demps (7.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) started every game this year for the Hornets, who essentially need to be in the lead with five minutes remaining in this game. Sacramento State is 13-0 when leading at the five-minute mark, and 1-15 when trailing at the same juncture. Defense has been huge for the Hornets, as they lead the Big Sky by limiting opponents to 33.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Stuteville, a freshman, has come up big lately by averaging 10.3 points and 4.6 rebounds and shooting 61.2 percent over the last seven contests.

North Dakota's senior class has a 6-1 mark in postseason tournament play over the past three seasons. Two of those flurries resulted in championships in the Great West Tournament, in 2011 and 2012. UND finished Big Sky play with a 12-8 mark for the second consecutive year. Last year, North Dakota defeated Southern Utah (69-52) in the quarterfinals before losing by two points to Weber State. Four seniors with postseason experience, Troy Huff, Jamal Webb, Aaron Anderson and Josh Schuler, have combined to score an impressive 45.5 points in postseason action.

Huff (19.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Jaron Nash (10.8 ppg), Anderson (10.7 ppg) Webb (7.7 ppg) and Alonzo Traylor (6.6 ppg) make up the starting lineup for North Dakota. Webb is the team's all-time leader in steals with 233 and is second in assists with 382. UND had a four-game win streak stopped with a 77-71 setback at Southern Utah a week ago. Webb poured in a game-high 18 points, Anderson scored 14 and Nash chipped in with 12.

A win would lift Sacramento State into the semifinals against top-seeded Weber State tomorrow night. Should UND come out on top, Brian Jones' squad would play against the second-highest remaining seed. The Hornets have already beaten Weber State once this season, on Garrity's 75-foot prayer in overtime on Feb. 1. UND though should be able to ride the postseason experience of its senior class to advance to the semifinals.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Dakota 74, Sacramento State 71

03/13 10:31:22 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
3rd
CAR 2
WAS 0
 
4th
BOS 92
CHA 89
 
4th
IND 90
CLE 86
 
4th
PHI 83
WAS 78
 
4th
BOS 92
CHA 89
 
4th
TOR 57
GSW 98
 
4th
DET 72
NYK 72
 
4th
ATL 76
ORL 69
 
3rd
HOU 53
BRK 62
 
3rd
MEM 41
LAC 41
 
3rd
NOP 58
MIA 58
 
3rd
CHI 51
MIN 51
 
1st
DEN 8
UTA 19
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
SAN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
POR
OKC
Final
QUIN 73
SIENA 63
 
Final
CORN 57
HARV 49
 
Final
CAN 72
FAIR 65
 
Final
IONA 79
MAN 75
 
Final
BRO 75
PENN 69
 
Final
YALE 81
PRIN 60
 
Final
MAR 69
PETE 67
 
2nd
CLMB 46
DART 46
 
2nd
AKR 45
OHIO 40
 
10:00pm Tonight
CLST
VALPO
 
1st OT
NJD 2
BOS 2
 
3rd
NYI 1
CAL 0
 
3rd
CAR 2
WAS 0
 
2nd Intermission
TAM 2
CHI 0
 
1st Intermission
DAL 0
COL 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
LOS