Links associated with this release:
Box Score/Play By Play
MEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS TO SOUTHERN UTAH, 57-53
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Southern Utah outscored Sacramento State, 10-3, over the final 3:33 of the game and Geoff Payne scored 29 of the Thunderbirds’ 57 points on the way to a 57-53 victory over the Hornets in a non-conference men’s basketball game Wednesday evening at the Hornets Nest.
Sacramento State held a lead for nearly 27 straight minutes spanning the first and second halves until a Payne lay-up with 4:11 remaining in the game tied the score at 47-47. Hornet junior Loren Leath responded with a three-pointers to give the Hornets a 50-47 lead, but the Thunderbirds scored the next six points to take a 53-50 lead with 2:18 remaining.
A three-pointer by senior Roderick Adams drew the Hornets even (53-53) with 2:06 to play, but the team missed each of its final three shots of the contest. Meanwhile, a Rick Roberts layup, a free throw from Orlando Griego, and two more free throws from Payne established the final margin of victory for Southern Utah.
Sacramento State struggled from the free throw line, shooting just 35.7 percent (5-14) from the stripe, including 3-for-9 in the second half. The team missed the front end of a 1-and-1 situation twice in the final 7:12 of the game. Of the six Hornets who attempted a free throw, only one (Justin Eller 3-5) shot better than 50 percent from the stripe.
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped to 1-2 on the young season, and will now embark upon a stretch that will see the team play eight of its next 10 games on the road. Southern Utah improved to 1-1, and improved to 12-6 all-time against the Hornets. The Thunderbirds had lost three straight meetings to the Hornets in Sacramento prior to today’s victory.
Payne’s 29 points came on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and 9-of-14 from the free throw line. He also tacked on a game-high tying three steals. Eighteen of his 29 points came in the second half. No other Southern Utah player scored more than seven points. The Thunderbirds dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Hornets, 42-25, including a crucial offensive rebound by Griego with 31 seconds remaining to keep a Southern Utah possession alive.
Sacramento State forced Southern Utah into 25 turnovers and scored 25 points off those turnovers, but shot just 37.0 percent (20-54) from the field. The Hornets fared well from beyond the three-point arc (8-20, 40.0 percent), but could not overcome the free throw woes that included missing the front end of 1-and-1 situations three times.
Leath led the Hornets with 14 points, but the sharp shooter struggled to find his range, finishing 5-for-19 from the field. Freshman Vinnie McGhee had 10 points, seven assists and one steal to round out the Hornet duo with double figures in points. Seven different Hornets had at least one steal, including Roderick Adams’ three steals, and the team finished with 11. Sophomore Justin Eller added with five points, two blocked shots and a team-high six rebounds. No other Hornet had more than four rebounds.
Sacramento State’s largest lead of the game was eight points (16:57 left in the second half) and Southern Utah’s four point margin of victory was its largest lead of the night.
Sacramento State will now embark upon a stretch that sees the team play eight of its next 10 games on the road, beginning on Saturday, Nov. 17, when the Hornets play at San Francisco. The team will also play at Pacific on Wednesday, Nov. 21, before returning home for a game against Santa Clara on Sunday, Nov. 25.
<< Return to Men's Basketball schedule