MENâ€™S BASKETBALL GETS OUT OF THE BLOCKS SLOW, EVENTUALLY FALLS AT IDAHO STATE
POCATELLO, Idaho - Sacramento State went the first 14:23 of the game without a field goal and scored just 14 points in the first half as Idaho State defeated the Hornets, 74-39, in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Thursday evening at Reed Gym. The loss, based on margin of defeat, was the worst suffered by the Hornets this season.
Sacramento State opened the game by missing its first 14 field goal attempts while committing eight turnovers over that stretch before finally converting a bucket (Randy Adams lay-up) with 5:36 to play in the half. Sacramento State scored its first three points on free throws, and by the time the Adams layup fell in the basket, the Hornets found themselves down 26-5.
Sacramento State would cut the lead to 17 points after a jumper from Loren Leath made the score 29-12 with 2:36 remaining in the first half, but would get no closer. Idaho State outscored the Hornets badly in both the first half (34-14) and second half (40-25). Sacramento State matched its third lowest field goal percentage of the season as the team finished the game shooting 27.7 percent (13-47) from the floor, including 3-of-15 (.200) from beyond the arc.
In addition, Idaho State held a distinct advantage over the Hornets in points in the paint (28-12), points off turnovers (28-7) and fast break points (17-0). No Sacramento State players scored in double figures and Idaho State shot a blistering 63.0 percent (29-46) from the field and 50.0 percent (7-14) from the three-point line.
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped its seventh straight while falling to 2-26 overall and 1-14 in the Big Sky. The Hornets have just one game remaining on the schedule, and that will come Saturday night at Weber State. The team’s last win this season came against this same Idaho State team in Sacramento on Jan. 24 (72-69).
With the victory, Idaho State (11-18, 8-7) clinched a spot in the Big Sky Tournament and a first-round home game as the top six teams in the nine-member league reach the postseason event (March 7-11). The Bengals have now won four of their last five games, and improved to 9-4 on their home floor. In a series littered with close games, tonight was the exception as Idaho State improved to 23-10 all-time against Sacramento State.
Idaho State had seven players score at least seven points, including Amorrow Morgan’s game-high 12 on 5-of-7 shooting. Austin Kilpatrick had 11 points and Lucas Steijn added 10 points to round out the three Bengals in double figures. Kilpatrick (3-7), Morgan (2-2) and Matt Stucki (2-3) accounted for each of the team’s seven three-pointers.
For Sacramento State, senior Randy Adams led the team with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting from the floor, including the center’s first career three-pointer. Senior Loren Leath added seven points, junior Michael Selling had six points and four rebounds, and junior Mike Marcial had a team-best five assists. Justin Eller led all players with six rebounds.
Not only did Idaho State shoot the ball well, the team also thrived in other key statistics such as assists (23), blocked shots (9) and steals (11). The Bengals shot 63.6 percent in the first half and 62.5 percent in the second half.
Saturday night’s contest at Weber State will mark the final games in the Sacramento State careers of seniors Adams, Leath and Donald Thomas. Weber State has already clinched the Big Sky’s regular season championship and is the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.