A Brief Preview
After another heartbreaking loss on Thursday, the Sacramento State
men's basketball team will take to the road for a pair of games this
week. The Hornets begin their trip with a matchup at Montana State on
Thursday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. PST. The game will pit the two teams
against each other for the second time in eight days. Last week,
Sacramento State ended its nine-game losing streak with a 70-62 win
over the Bobcats.
The Hornets enter the week with a 4-17 overall record and an 1-9 mark
in the Big Sky Conference. The team had a chance to put together its
first two-game Big Sky winning streak in two years but suffered a
67-66 loss against Montana on Thursday.
Montana State currently sits at 14-10 overall and 6-5 in Big Sky games.
Meet the Coaches
After eight seasons as an assistant coach, including one with
Sacramento State, Jerome Jenkins takes over as head coach this year.
Jenkins became the 12th coach in the 52-year history of Hornet
basketball when he was named to the position on March 14, 2000.
The 33-year old coach served as the team's top assistant last season
and was credited with designing the squad's much improved defense.
Jenkins came to Sacramento State after serving two seasons as an
assistant at Eastern Washington. Prior to work at EWU, Jenkins spent
four seasons at Diablo Valley College.
A native of Los Angeles, Jenkins was an all-conference point guard at
L.A. City College as a freshman before playing his sophomore season
at Southwestern Oregon C.C. He then transferred to Regis University
in Denver, Colo., where he played his final two seasons. While with
the Rangers, Jenkins led the team in assists and steals and was named
all-conference following both seasons.
Jenkins picked up his first career victory on Nov. 17 when the
Hornets topped Bethany College, 103-48. He currently has a 4-17
Montana State is coached by Mick Durham. In his 11 years with the
Bobcats, Durham has posted a 170-141 overall record.
A Look at the Latest Action
Ryan Slider scored on a putback layup with three seconds to play to
lift Montana to a 67-66 victory over Sacramento State Thursday night.
Trailing by one with 15 seconds left, Montana worked the ball to Kyle
Keyes who attempted a three-pointer which clanked off the front iron.
Slider was able to gain position on two Hornet defenders and
converted the layup to give UM the lead.
Sacramento State led for the majority of the first half until the
Griz went on a 9-1 run to end the period with a 31-25 edge.
The Hornets opened the second half with a free throw by Arinze
Anoruo, a jumper by Rickie Glenn and a layup by Derek Lambeth to pull
within one. Rene Jacques eventually evened the score, 41-41, with a
three-pointer at the 13:21 mark. Rame Batta gave the team its first
lead (48-47) since late in the first half with 10:45 to play.
Dan Trammel returned the lead to the Grizzlies with a basket, a pair
of free throws and a tip-in. Travis Greenwalt then stretched the
Montana lead to seven points with a jumper at 7:16. Batta made a pair
of free throws and Anoruo scored on a layup to pull the Hornets
within three. Montana pushed its edge to five before Batta made
another free throw, Glenn scored on a layup and Pablo Gonzales
knocked down a three to tie the score, 63-63, with 1:11 left.
Slider continued to dominate the final minutes with a bucket with 37
seconds left but Gonzales responded with a three pointer to give
Sacramento State a 66-65 lead with 18 seconds left on the clock.
Sacramento State was paced by Rickie Glenn's 18 points. Anoruo
recorded his team-leading fifth double-double of the year with 10
points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
A Look at the Hornets Oh So Close
After another close defeat last week (Montana), the Sacramento State
coaching staff was asking the proverbial "what if" questions. The
general consensus turned to the team's free throw shooting - or lack
The Hornets shot a dismal 54.8 percent from the free throw line,
missing 14 of 31 attempts. While the team has gotten to the line over
30 times on just three other occasions this season it has made at
least 17 free throws in a game six times.
To illustrate how bad things were, Arinze Anoruo, who entered the
game shooting just 36 percent from the stripe was the team's top
shooter at 8-for-12. Rame Batta, who has been ranked in the top five
nationally and top three in the Big Sky for almost the entire season,
was just 5-for-8 and Rickie Glenn was 2-of-7. Pablo Gonzales and
Cedric Thompkins were each 1-of-2.
Sacramento State is riding a two-game winning streak against Montana
State. While that is not impressive for most programs, it is the
first time that the Hornets have beat a conference opponent in
successive tries since joining the league in 1996-97.
A win at Bozeman, Mont., on Thursday would not only extend the streak
to three games, it would halt the team's 36-game conference road game
The loss against Montana also prevented the team from recording
back-to-back conference victories for the first time since Feb. 13,
1999 when it defeated Portland State and Eastern Washington at home.
One other streak that came to an end against Montana was Pablo
Gonzales' six-consecutive games in double figures. The senior tallied
nine points on 3-of-7 shooting including two three pointers.
Arinze Anoruo keeps on rolling. While the junior does nothing flashy,
he has produced a team-leading five double-doubles this year. Anoruo
added to his tally on Thursday with 10 points and 12 rebounds against
Montana. The South San Francisco, Calif., native padded his lead as
the Big Sky's top offensive rebounder with six offensive boards.
Over the past three games, Anoruo has averaged 12.3 points and 10.0
rebounds per game.
Four of Sacramento State's last six losses have come by less than
five points. The Hornets lost to UC Riverside by one, at Portland
State by four, vs. Idaho State by four and against Montana by one.
The team has also led or been tied with less than 10 minutes to play
in nine of its last 11 games.
Jim Brewer, Jr., missed his first game of the year against Montana
due to bronchitis...junior Jay Richardson has started the past two
games, his first starts of the year...after each scoring 20 points in
back-to-back games, Pablo Gonzales and Rickie Glenn have not combined
to score in the past three...freshman Cedric Thompkins set a career
high with nine points. The Los Angeles, Calif., native made four of
his six attempts from the floor.
A Look at the Last Meeting
Rame Batta scored 19 points to lead Sacramento State to a 70-62
victory over Montana State last Wednesday night at Hornet Gym.
After MSU made the game's first basket, junior Jay Richardson buried
a three-pointer to give the squad a 3-2 lead. From that point,
Sacramento State was able to extend its lead to five before the
Bobcats went ahead, 13-12, at the 13:46 mark. The Hornets responded
with a 7-0 run sparked by a three-point play by Arinze Anoruo.
Montana State managed one last rally in the first half and went ahead
by four, 37-33, at the break when John Lazosky made a long-range
three with two seconds left.
After falling behind by five at the start of the second half, the
Hornets went on a 12-3 run to reclaim the lead for the final time in
the game. During the stretch, sophomore Derek Lambeth came off the
bench to score nine points on 4-of-4 shooting.
Montana State was able to pull within one as late as 4:30 but the
team missed eight of its final nine field goal attempts of the game.
As a team, Montana State was just 42.4 percent from floor on 25-of-59
shooting. The Bobcats entered the game as the best shooting team in
the conference at 50.1 percent. The team also led the Big Sky by
shooting 46.0 percent from behind the line but struggled from long
range on Wednesday going 5-of-17 (.294).
Joining Batta in double-figures was Pablo Gonzales (16), Anoruo (13)
and Lambeth (12). Lambeth also led the squad with seven rebounds.
As a team, Sacramento State forced 23 MSU turnovers including
11 steals. The team also picked up its first victory of the season
when it was outrebounded (37-31).
A Look at the Bobcats
With losses to Sacramento State and Montana last week, Montana
State is riding its second two-game losing streak of the season. Senior forward John Lazosky and junior guard Justin Brown represent
MSU's top two scoring threats. Lazosky averages 13.4 points and Brown
Despite splitting the two games last season, Montana State stills
holds a hefty 12-2 advantage in the all-time series. The Bobcats had
won 12-straight over the Hornets until the last meeting. MSU is 6-1
all-time in Sacramento.
Who's Up Next
Sacramento State continues its two-game road trip when it takes on
Weber State on Saturday. The Wildcats have never lost to the Hornets
and have won the past four meetings at the Dee Events Center by 31.85
Big Sky Notes
Eastern Washington's Jamal Jones and Northern Arizona's Cory Schwab
were named co-Big Sky Players of the Week. Jones scored a career-high
19 points to lead EWU to an 81-70 win at Weber State. Schwab scored
26 points with seven threes in the team's win at Idaho State.