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MENâ€™S BASKETBALL WINS NINTH STRAIGHT HOME OPENER WITH VICTORY OVER SIMPSON
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Four Hornets scored in double figures, led by junior Loren Leath’s game-high 27 points, as Sacramento State cruised to a 104-71 victory over Simpson in a non-conference men’s basketball game Monday evening at the Hornets Nest.
With the victory, Sacramento State, which opened the year with a loss Friday at 25th-ranked Kansas State, improved to 1-1 on the young season. The Hornets won their home opener for the ninth straight year, and every season during head coach Jerome Jenkins’ eight-year tenure with the team. With the loss, Simpson, which is an NAIA team from Redding, Calif., dropped to 0-6.
Leath’s 27 points included six made three pointers, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Joining Leath in double figures for the Hornets were senior Justin Williams (19 points, nine rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals), freshman Vinnie McGhee (16 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and three steals) and sophomore Justin Eller (12 points, four rebounds, two blocks and three steals).
Williams’ 19 points were a career high and the nine rebounds tied his career high. Through two games, the high flyer is averaging 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocked shots and 3.5 steals per game. For McGhee, the 12 assists were one shy of the Sacramento State Div. I (1991-pres.) single-game record of 13.
After a three-pointer from Simpson’s Josh Sidener cut the Hornets’ lead to 21-20 with 11:45 remaining in the first half, Sacramento State proceeded to go on a 42-14 run over the final 11:10 to go into halftime with a 63-34 lead. The Hornets led by as many as 42 points (95-53) in the second half before settling on the 33-point margin of victory.
Sacramento State’s 104 points marked the 59th time in program history the team hit the century mark in points, and the seventh time since the beginning of the 2005-06 season. The Hornets had 17 steals, contributing to Simpson turning the ball over 27 times. Ten different Sacramento State players had at least one steal, including two each from senior Roderick Adams and junior Donald Thomas.
The Hornets shot 48.1 percent (37-77) from the field and 63.2 percent (24-38) from the free throw line. Leath went 5-of-7 from the free throw line, and is now 12-for-16 for the season despite the year being just two games old. In addition, Leath’s 27 points were one shy of his career high and marked the 13th 20-point effort of his career.
Thomas finished with eight points, five rebounds and two steals, junior Randy Adams had eight points and six rebounds, and senior Jason Davis had six points and six rebounds to round out the seven Hornets with at least six points.
Simpson, which shot 37.5 percent (27-72) from the field and committed 27 fouls, was led by Micah Eppler’s 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
The Hornets return to action in two days when the team hosts Southern Utah on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7:05 p.m. After the Southern Utah game, the Hornets play eight of their next 10 games on the road, including games at San Francisco (Nov. 17), Pacific (Nov. 21), 23rd-ranked Stanford (Nov. 27), 12th-ranked Oregon (Dec. 11) and 11th-ranked Marquette (Dec. 15).
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