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MENâ€™S BASKETBALL CONCLUDES LONG ROAD TRIP WITH LOSS AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
CHENEY, Wash. -- Eastern Washington’s Kellen Williams led all players with 22 points and nine rebounds and Sacramento State was limited to 35.7 percent (15-42) shooting from the field as the Eagles defeated the Hornets, 76-52, in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Saturday evening at Reese Court.
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped its fifth straight and fell to 2-11 overall and 0-3 in the Big Sky. The Hornets, who remained winless on the road this year, are now 0-3 in the Big Sky for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Eastern Washington improved to 7-10 overall, 2-1 on the conference and 5-3 at home with the victory.
Tonight’s game completed a season-long five game road trip for Sacramento State that has not seen the team play at home since Dec. 4. By the time the Hornets return home to face Montana State on Thursday, Jan. 10, the team will have gone 37 days without a home game.
Sacramento State struggled to find its range all night as the team’s 15 field goals were its lowest output of the season. Two nights after shooting 35.7 percent (20-56) from the floor in a loss at Portland State, the Hornets shot for the same percentage tonight (.357).
The Hornets’ only lead of the evening came at 2-0 after junior Randy Adams grabbed an offensive rebound and scored the putback. Eastern Washington responded with a 16-6 run over the next nine minutes and led by at least eight points the rest of the game. Sacramento State shot just 6-of-18 (.333) from the field in the first half and went into halftime trailing, 36-22. The Eagles built their lead to as large as 31 points in the second half before settling for the 76-52 victory.
Williams’ 22 points came on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, and accompanied nine rebounds and a game-high tying seven assists in 32 minutes of play. Brandon Moore (12 points, seven rebounds) and Milan Stanojevic (12 points, four three-pointers) joined Williams in double figures for the Eagles. Eastern Washington shot 50.0 percent (29-58) from the field and outscored the Hornets, 36-22, in the paint.
Uncharacteristically, the Hornets had 20 turnovers, which Eastern Washington capitalized for 23 points off those turnovers. The Eagles also held a 35-28 advantage on the glass.
Justin Eller led all Hornets with 10 points as the sophomore also added a team-best seven rebounds in 22 minutes. In his first start of the season, true freshman Darnell Ferguson scored a season-high eight points, highlighted by a 6-of-7 performance from the free throw line. Junior Donald Thomas added eight points and senior Justin Williams tallied six points, four rebounds and a blocked shot.
Hornet freshman Wandji Aboubakar, who missed a good portion of the season with a knee injury, scored his first points of the season after going 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
Sacramento State’s game against Montana State (7:05 p.m.) next Thursday will mark the first of a stretch that will see the team play four straight home games and seven of the next nine inside the friendly confines. Sacramento State will host both Montana State and Montana (Saturday, Jan. 12, 7:05 p.m.) next week, followed by Cal State Bakersfield (Jan. 15) and Northern Arizona (Jan. 19) the week after.
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