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LEATH AND WILLIAMS COMBINE TO LEAD MENâ€™S BASKETBALL TO VICTORY OVER WILLIAM JESSUP
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Junior Loren Leath scored a game-high 22 points, and senior Justin Williams added 12 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and four steals to lead Sacramento State to a 72-54 victory over William Jessup in a non-conference men’s basketball game Tuesday evening at the Hornets Nest.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved its record to 2-6 on the young season. The Hornets have now defeated William Jessup, an NAIA school from Rocklin, Calif., five consecutive years. Sacramento State will not play at home again until Jan. 10 against Montana State. In between now and Jan. 10, the Hornets will embark upon a season-long five game road trip, including stops at nationally ranked Oregon and Marquette.
With the loss, William Jessup dropped to 5-5 overall and had its two-game winning streak snapped.
After the Warriors scored the game’s first three points, Sacramento State responded with a 7-0 run, and led the rest of the way. Sacramento State, which held a lead the final 36:09 of the contest, shot 44.6 percent (25-56) from the field, 38.9 percent (7-18) from the three-point line, and 62.5 percent (15-24) from the free throw line.
William Jessup kept within striking distance of the Hornets’ lead a good portion of the second half, drawing as close as four points (55-51) of Sacramento State’s lead with 4:13 left in the game. However, the Hornets closed the final 3:40 of the contest by going on a 17-3 run and won by a game-high 18 point margin.
Leath’s 22 points marked his fourth 20-point game of the season and 15th of his career. He buried 5-of-7 three-point attempts and improved his three-point percentage this year to .417 (25-60). Williams, who already leads the Big Sky Conference in blocks and ranks third in steals, improved those numbers with three more stuffs and four more steals. He shot 6-of-9 from the field for his 12 points.
Sacramento State freshman Vinnie McGhee, who entered the game second in the Big Sky in assists, bumped those numbers with a program-record 14 assists. The previous record had been 13, set on two occasions. McGhee is now averaging 7.2 assists per game this season. Junior Randy Adams added six points and led all players with a career-high nine rebounds in 21 minutes. Junior Jason Davis (11 points, six rebounds) rounded out the three Hornets who finished with double figures in points.
William Jessup was paced by Matt Cassell’s 11 points while Max Botner (10) and Lucas Birchard (10 points, eight rebounds) also finished in double figures.
Tonight’s game marked the debut of 6-7, 245-pound Hornet big man Wandji Aboubakar. The sophomore, who had his knee scoped in early October, will be worked into the regular rotation slowly while he gets the knee back in shape. Sacramento State was still without four player who are currently injured (guards Roderick Adams, Alonzo Young and Yannick Kasongo, and center Curtis Harrison).
The Hornets return to action next week when they travel to 19th-ranked Oregon on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and 11th-ranked Marquette on Saturday, Dec. 15.
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