Sacramento State at UTEP Game Preview

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

UTEP continues their non-conference slate with a matchup with Sacramento State Saturday 7:05 PM MDT in the Don Haskins Center.

After an eventful weekend in Atlantis last weekend, the UTEP Miners return home for nine of their next ten contests. After going 1-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Miners are even at 4-4, though have the 5th toughest schedule in the nation so far.

The return and importance of McKenzie Moore was evident with the Miners 78-70 opening round win against Tennessee, the offense goes as he goes.

Justin Crosgile has added a veteran presence at guard, and while he is not a "true shooter" he has carried the load from the behind the arc so far, he has also provided much needed versatility and poise. I believe he has earned himself 30+ minutes a game, consistency is the key for that to happen.

There is no doubt this team can still defend, and with the added dimensions of the ever switching defenses by coach Floyd has gave the Miners an advantage against teams that do not see that very often.

Sacramento State comes in at 2-3, after losing their worst home loss in 14 years in a 79-53 loss to UC Irvine. This is the first ever match up between the Miners and the Hornets who hail from the Big Sky Conference.

The Hornets have been led so far by the guard scoring combo of Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney.

After dominating their opening game of the season on defense, the Hornets have been torched, giving up 75.6 points a game, while allowing .532 percent shooting from the floor in their last four games.

Senior forward Jordan Salley has provided some points of the bench and shoots the ball very well, and can also really jump out of the gym.

The Hornets have only player that is 6'10, this could be a game that could jump start the Miners on a roll, lets take a look at how both teams match up statistically.

Sacramento State Hornets

Current Record: 2-3, 0-0 Big Sky

Head Coach: Brian Katz, 44-105 overall, 6th year

Key Players

Dylan Garrity Jr, PG, 6'2 175, 14.0 ppg, 14-31 3-point FG's,

Mikh McKinney, Jr, G, 6'1 165, 13.4 ppg, .438 FG%

Cody Demps, So, F, 6'4 200, 8.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Team Stats

Points Per Game 63.0
Opponents Points Per Game 69.8
FG% .416
Opponents FG% .484
3-Point FG% .337
Opponents 3-point FG% .411
Free Throw % .670
Rebounds Per Game 31.4
Rebound Margin -2.0
Assist Per Game 11.8
Turnovers Per Game 14.2

UTEP MINERS

Leaders:

McKenzie Moore, 13.6 ppgg, 4.6 rpg

Julian Washburn, 10.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 8 steals

Vince Hunter, 9.4 ppg, 6.3 rph

Team Stats

Points Per Game 71.0
Opponents Points Per Game 69.8
FG% .450
Opponents FG% .382
3-Point FG% .333
Opponents 3-point FG% .293
Free Throw % .667
Rebounds Per Game 35.4
Rebound Margin -4.6
Assist Per Game 13.5
Turnovers Per Game 12.9


Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for more information on all things UTEP sports, and make sure to Follow @sbnminerrush on Twitter for live updates throughout the game from the Haskins Center . Picks Up, and Go Miners!

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