MEN'S BASKETBALL WELCOMES IN WEBER STATE FOR TONIGHT'S SEASON FINALE
A Brief Preview
The Sacramento State men’s basketball team (9-19, 4-11) will play its final game of the 2006-07 season on Monday, Feb. 26, at 7:05 p.m. inside the Hornets Nest. The Hornets welcome in the Big Sky Conference’s regular season champions Weber State (18-10, 11-4). The Wildcats, who have already earned a bye in the Big Sky Tournament quarterfinals, will host the semifinal and championship rounds of the tournament on March 6-7.
The Hornets limp into the season finale, having lost 10 of their last 12 Big Sky games after beginning the conference season with a 2-1 record. Sacramento State will not be making a trip to the Big Sky Tournament for the first time in five years as the top six teams in the nine-member league advance to the postseason tournament. The Hornets entered the season as one of three teams (Eastern Washington, Montana) to have reached the Big Sky Tournament each of the last four years.
One streak, however, is on the line for the Hornets as they prepare for their final game. With a win, Sacramento State would reach the double-figure mark in victories for the fifth consecutive season. The streak looks a lot more impressive when you consider the program failed to accomplish the feat during each of its first 11 years in the Div. I ranks (1991-pres.). In fact, the team has averaged 13.0 wins per season each of the last four years after averaging just 4.6 victories the previous 11 seasons.
Prior to Monday’s game, Sacramento State’s two seniors – combo guard Haron Hargrave and forward Alex Bausley – will be honored for their contributions to the program. Bausley has already established himself as one of the program’s top players, currently ranking first in rebounds (545), and second in points (1,135) and steals (185) in Sacramento State’s Div. I-era record book. In fact, Bausley, the team’s only fourth-year senior, is one of just three Hornets during the Div. I era to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
Hargrave, who transferred to the Hornets last year from Chaffey Junior College, is averaging 10.7 points, 4.3 free throw attempts, 1.4 steals and 1.4 three-pointers per game during his two-year career. He is currently averaging a team-best 13.2 points this season, and his free throw percentage (.810, 110-135) is the fifth best mark in the Big Sky. In fact, his 135 free throw attempts are the second most among the league’s top 15 free throw percentage shooters.
Weber State has made one of the more remarkable turnarounds in league history. The Wildcats will win at least a share of the Big Sky regular season championship one season after finishing in last place with a 4-10 conference record. The Wildcats haven’t played since a 73-67 home win over Montana on Feb. 14.
Monday’s game will be broadcast live on KSAC 1240 AM, hornetsports.com and bigskytv.org with Steve McElroy calling all the action. McElroy is in his 10th season as radio voice of Hornet basketball.
Milestones For Bausley
Earlier this season, senior forward Alex Bausley (pronounced BOZ-lee) became just the third Sacramento State player to reach the 1,000 point plateau during the team’s Div. I era (1991-pres.). Damond Edwards (1,197 points; 1992-97) and Michael Boyd (1,064 points; 1993-97) are the other Hornets who have accomplished the feat. In program history, Bausley became the sixth player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Earlier this year, he became the program’s Div. I leader in career rebounds, passing Michael Boyd’s mark of 507. Among Div. I program leaders, Bausley is first in rebounds (545), second in points (1,135) and steals (185), and fifth in assists (166).
A first team all-Big Sky selection in 2005-06 and this year’s team captain, Bausley is currently averaging 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game while shooting 41.7 percent (138-331) from the field. He has scored in double figures 19 times this year, and 59 times during his four-year career. His average of 2.43 steals per game is the second best mark in the Big Sky, and he needs three steals to match Rodney Stuckey for the conference lead in overall steals (71).
The Los Angeles native, and graduate of Fairfax High School (the same high school that head coach Jerome Jenkins graduated) has raised his scoring average from 2.9 ppg as a freshman, 10.4 ppg as a sophomore, and 13.6 last season. The biggest difference for Bausley occurred during the offseason between his freshman and sophomore seasons, when he shed 35 pounds of weight.
After missing the first three games of the season, senior combo guard Haron Hargrave has consistently been one the team’s top scorers, currently averaging a team-best 13.2 points per game. In addition, he is averaging 5.4 trips to the free throw line per game, converting on 81.5 percent (110-135) from the charity stripe.
Including his last second, buzzer beating three-pointer in the Hornets’ overtime win against Pacific, the Queens, N.Y., native has scored in double figures 16 times and has led the team in scoring nine times. That also consists of four 20-point games, including a career-high 31 at Denver.
However, like most of the team, Hargrave has struggled from the field over the last 13 games, shooting 29.8 percent (36-121) and 26.0 (19-73) from beyond the arc over that span.
Among Big Sky leaders (all games), Hargrave is fourth in steals (1.80 spg), fifth in free throw percentage (.815), 10th in three-pointers (1.72 per game), 12th in minutes (29.2 mpg) and 13th in scoring (13.2 ppg). Hargrave has combined for 14 steals over his last four games, and has recorded at least one swipe in all but five games he has appeared in this year.