MENâ€™S BASKETBALL FALLS AT PORTLAND STATE, ELIMINATED FROM BIG SKY TOURNAMENT CONTENTION
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Six Vikings posted double figures in points, led by Deonte Huff’s 23 points and 10 rebounds, as Portland State defeated Sacramento State, 100-73, in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Thursday evening at the Stott Center.
Portland State shot 54.0 percent (34-63) from the field and outrebounded the Hornets, 48-31. The Vikings, who opened up a game-high 28 point lead late in the second half, also shot 28-of-33 (.848) from the free throw line. Conversely, Sacramento State shot just 37.3 percent (25-67) from the field and had trouble shooting from long range (5-for-17, 29.4 percent).
With the loss, Sacramento State is officially eliminated from Big Sky Tournament contention as the top six teams in the nine-member league reach the postseason event. The Hornets entered the season as one of three teams (Montana, Eastern Washington) to reach the Big Sky Tournament each of the last four years, but that streak will come to an end for Sacramento State.
The Hornets, who at one point were 2-1 in the Big Sky, have dropped 10 of their last 12 games while falling to 9-18 overall and 4-10 in the Big Sky. Sacramento State will finish the season with one more road game (at Eastern Washington on Saturday, Feb. 24) and one more home game (against Weber State on Monday, Feb. 26.). The loss also dropped the Hornets to 2-13 on the road, as both the team’s road wins have come in the state of Colorado (against Denver and Northern Colorado).
With the victory, Portland State clinched a Big Sky Tournament berth while improving to 17-12 overall and 8-7 in the conference. Dating back to last year, PSU had dropped three straight games to the Hornets, including a 97-93 loss in Sacramento earlier this season.
With Big Sky games remaining on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Weber State, Northern Arizona and Montana State are the only teams to have clinched a spot in the Big Sky Tournament. Montana, Idaho State, Portland State and Eastern Washington are battling for the final three spots. Weber State clinched the right to host the Big Sky Tournament semifinals and championship rounds on March 6-7. This comes one season after Weber State finished in last place.
Portland State found itself up, 41-20, with 3:21 left in the first half before Sacramento State stormed back with an 11-1 run to close the half and stay within striking distance (42-31) at halftime. The Hornets then opened the second half by scoring on four of their first six trips down the floor to close within nine points (48-39 with 17:32 left). In fact, Alex Bausley had a chance to cut PSU’s lead to seven points, but he missed two free throws and the Vikings immediately responded with four straight points to reclaim a 13-point lead. Portland State led by double figures the final 16:54 of the contest and used a 10-2 run midway through the second half to put the game away.
Joining Huff in double figures for Portland State were Scott Morrison (16), Anthony Washington (14), Juma Kamara (14), Paul Hafford (11) and Dupree Lucas (11). The Vikings’ only starter not to score at least 11 points was Ryan Sommer, who finished with three.
Bausley led Sacramento State with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-for-6 from long range. Senior Haron Hargrave added 12 points and three steals, and junior Roderick Adams finished with 10 points to round out the Hornets with double figures. Junior Justin Williams added nine points and sophomore Loren Leath chipped in seven. Of Sacramento State’s 31 rebounds, 17 came on the offensive glass, and no Hornet finished with more than four rebounds.
All 12 of Sacramento State’s active players received playing time in tonight’s game, including a game-high 33 minutes for Bausley.
Prior to Monday’s season finale inside the Hornets Nest, both Sacramento State seniors Hargrave and Bausley will be honored for their contributions to the program.