Sacramento State aims to build on mild momentum vs. Oregon State

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Two teams playing their final non-conference games before a rugged road ahead in league play will duel Tuesday afternoon when Sacramento State visits Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore.

The Hornets (4-5) will attempt to build on a 67-53 home win over Menlo on Friday, while the Beavers (2-10) hope an 83-61 home romp over Nicholls State last Tuesday and some time off are the springboards to better things when the rivals meet for the first time since a 65-63 Sacramento State road shocker in 2009.

Oregon State had won all five previous meetings by an average of 18.2 points.

Tuesday's game originally was scheduled for Dec. 11, but COVID-19 issues within the Oregon State team forced a postponement.

Now the contest falls on the eve of Sacramento State's three-game trip of Big Sky Conference contests at Southern Utah, Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona. That sequence will tip off on Thursday.

The Hornets are led offensively by Bryce Fowler (16.8 points per game) but have counted heavily upon Deshaun Highler to play an important complementary role at both ends of the court.

"I make any sacrifice," Highler boasts. "If you need me to guard the best player, I could go do that. You need me to shoot zero times, I'll do that. Do you want me to score a ball? I can go do that, too."

The addition of the Sacramento State game to this week's schedule proved fortuitous for Oregon State with news over the weekend that its scheduled home Pacific-12 Conference game against Colorado on New Year's Day had to be postponed by the Buffaloes.

Instead, after a quick return on Thursday to host Utah, the Beavers will have eight days off before Oregon comes to town next Saturday.

Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle thought the victory over Nicholls State came at just the right time for his team, which had lost 10 in a row.

"Great win (with) guys backs against the wall," he said. "Feels good going into a little bit of a Christmas break and get some momentum going into the second half (of the season)."

Jarod Lucas paced the win over Nicholls State with 24 points, including four 3-pointers. He's made 16 of his past 29 3-point attempts over four games.

--Field Level Media