MENâ€™S HOOPS ENDS SEASON WITH LOSS AT WEBER STATE
OGDEN, Utah -- Four Weber State players scored in double figures and the Wildcats used a 24-2 run early in the first half to go on and defeat Sacramento State, 97-61, in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Saturday evening at the Dee Events Center. The loss, based on margin of defeat, was the worst of the season for the Hornets.
After a three-pointer from Hornet senior Randy Adams tied the game at 10-10 with 16:29 left in the first half, Weber State went on a 24-2 run (spanning 5:32 of game clock) to take a commanding 34-12 lead at the 10:57 mark. The Wildcats scored on eight straight possessions during the run, while shooting 8-for-8 from the field (including three three-pointers) and 5-for-5 from the free throw line during the spurt. Also during the burst, six different Wildcats scored and the run was punctuated by a three-point play from Damian Lillard.
Sacramento State would never recover as the Hornets found themselves down by at least 20 point the rest of the contest. Weber State, which had already clinched the Big Sky’s regular season championship and the right to host the league’s postseason tournament, shot a blistering 61.3 percent (38-62) from the field, including 44.4 percent (11-25) from beyond the three-point arc. In fact, 73 of the Wildcats’ 97 points came from either the paint (40) or from beyond the three-point line (33).
Conversely, Sacramento State shot 40.0 percent (24-60) from the field and 33.3 percent (5-15) from beyond the three-point line, but could not overcome Weber State’s hot shooting. The Hornets were outscored by the Wildcats in both the first (54-28) and second (43-33) halves.
With the victory, Weber State improved its record to 20-8 overall and 14-1 in the Big Sky. The Wildcats have just one game remaining on their regular season schedule, but the team has already clinched a first-round bye in the Big Sky Tournament and the right to host the semifinal and championship rounds of the postseason event (March 10-11). The team has won 11 straight games, and seven of those victories have come by double digits. Weber State is now 27-4 all-time against the Hornets.
Sacramento State concludes its season with a 2-27 overall record and a 1-15 mark in conference. The Hornets were eliminated from Big Sky Tournament contention (the top six teams in the nine-member league advance), and the team’s lone victories this season came at home against Causeway rival UC Davis (Dec. 3) and Idaho State (Jan. 24).
Weber State’s four players in double figures were Nick Hansen (17 points, five three-pointers), Kellen McCoy (16 points, 7-of-10 shooting), Lillard (14 points, nine rebounds and six assists) and Steve Panos (12 points). The Wildcats totalled 21 assists with just eight turnovers while also recording nine blocked shots (including five from Daviin Davis) and nine steals.
For Sacramento State senior Loren Leath led the way with 15 points, while juniors Justin Eller (14 points, eight rebounds) and Antonio Flaggs (10 points) rounded out the three Hornets in double figures. Senior Randy Adams finished with nine points and senior Donald Thomas added seven points for a Sacramento State team that had 12 assists compared to 14 turnovers.
Tonight marked the final game in the Hornet careers of seniors Leath, Adams and Thomas. Leath, who ranks second this year in the Big Sky in scoring with 15.6 points per game, finishes his four-year career with 1,489 points. The most prolific scorer in Sacramento State’s Div. I history (1991-pres.), Leath was just 11 points shy of becoming the 29th player in Big Sky history to amass 1,500 career points. Still, the Oakland, Calif., native is second all-time at Sacramento State in points and third in three-pointers. His 240 career three-pointers are also the sixth best mark in Big Sky history.
Adams enjoyed the best year of his career, finishing the season with averages of 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 47.3 percent (80-169) from the field. Thomas appeared in 77 games (including nine starts) during his three-year tenure in the Green and Gold.