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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Men’s basketball preview

Teams: UC Davis at Sacramento State

Records: Aggies, 2-5; Hornets, 0-5

Where: Hornets NestSacramento

When: Today at 7:35 p.m.

Radio: KHTK (1140 AM)

Who to watch: Battling a nagging shoulder injury that was originally sustained before the season, Mark Payne has missed the past two games and is a game-time decision for tonight.

After the sophomore point guard’s performance last year, the Hornets probably wouldn’t mind if he stayed on the bench.

In an 83-77 win at the Pavilion, Payne had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the third triple-double in school history.

Did you know? Dating back to last year, Sac State has lost 13 consecutive games. It is the program’s longest losing streak since it dropped 34 straight between the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 seasons.

Preview: UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart won’t decide on the statuses of Joe Harden (ankle) and Payne until near tip-off.

If they play, Sac State could be looking at another long day defensively.

So far this season, the Hornets are allowing opposing teams to shoot 51.1 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc.

On Monday, Idaho spoiled the Hornetshome opener, 72-58. The Vandals shot 56.9 percent from the field and were 9-of-16 from downtown.

First-year head coach Brian Katz has the Hornets in rebuilding mode after last year’s 4-24 campaign. His roster is made up of four returning players and 11 junior college transfers.

While Sac State has been rebuilding, UC Davis has been spent the early going of the season showing flashes of a team capable of making a major run in the Big West Conference Tournament this season.

The Aggies finished as runner-up last weekend at the U.S.A. Basketball Classic in Mobile, Ala., defeating Tulane before falling to host South Alabama in the championship game.


Michael Gehlken 


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