HOT-SHOOTING SANTA CLARA BETTERS MEN'S BASKETBALL, 77-65
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Junior Loren Leath scored 21 points to lead Sacramento State but the Hornets could not overcome the torrid shooting of Santa Clara in a 77-65 loss to the Broncos, Sunday afternoon at the Hornets Nest.
With the win, Santa Clara improved to 4-1 overall. Sacramento State dropped to 1-5.
The Hornets led 29-25 at halftime and eventually stretched its lead to nine on four different occasions. The final time came at 11:45 when Leath’s layup made the score 51-42. From that point, the Broncos went on a 21-2 run to take control of the game. During that stretch, the team made 9-of-10 attempts from the field and was able to convert on a second chance on its lone miss.
The hot shooting continued for the remainder of the second half as the Broncos made 19-of-22 field goals to shoot 86.4 percent in the period. Santa Clara finished the game 28-of-39 from the floor for 71.8 percent.
Sacramento State used a 1-3-1 zone defense in the first half to create havoc and help the team to an early lead. Leath’s three-pointer with 5:30 remaining in the half gave the Hornets a 23-20 lead. Baskets by Justin Williams and Donald Thomas stretch the lead to six before Jon Bryant scored a layup with 25 seconds remaining for the final basket of the half.
The Hornets added to their lead coming out of the intermission with a three-pointer from Clark Woods, a dunk by Justin Eller, and a three from Vinnie McGhee to make the score 37-29. Leath answered a Bronco basket with a three pointer to give the Hornets a nine point lead (40-31) with 16:23 left in the game.
Bryant was the story for Santa Clara during the game. The 6-foot-10, 305-pounder dwarfed any Hornet defender and finished the game 12-of-15 from the floor for 26 points. He also added 12 rebounds and had seven blocked shots. Senior point guard Brody Angley contributed 16 points and eight assists to help the cause.
For Sacramento State, Leath was joined in double figures by Thomas (12) and McGhee (11). Randy Adams was the leading rebounder with five. The Hornets finished the contest shooting 25-of-57 (.439) and were out-rebounded 30-20.
Sacramento State will next be in action on Tuesday when it travels to the Bay Area to take on Stanford at 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.
NOTES: Sacramento State was severely short-handed against Santa Clara as Roderick Adams (ankle), Alonzo Young (knee), Curtis Harrison (hand), Yannick Kasongo (knee) and Wandji Aboubakar (knee) did not suit up…the Broncos’ field goal percentage fell just one-tenth of percent away from their school record of 71.9…Thomas has scored at least 10 points in two of the last three games after not scoring in double figures all of last season…Leath has scored 20-plus points in three of the six games this year.