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SECOND-HALF RUN PROPELS CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD TO VICTORY OVER MENâ€™S BASKETBALL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Demarcus Hall tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Cal State Bakersfield used a 14-4 run early in the second half to eventually defeat Sacramento State, 73-61, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Tuesday evening at the Hornets Nest.
The Roadrunners went into halftime with a 34-30 lead and opened the second half on a 14-4 run to take a 48-34 lead with 15:42 remaining in the contest. Sacramento State closed to within four points later in the half (52-48 with 10:48 left), but that was as close as the team would get the rest of the night.
With the victory, Cal State Bakersfield, which is in its second year of a four-year transitional period from Div. II to active Div. I status, won its third in a row and improved to 6-12 overall. Sacramento State dropped to 3-13 overall and 3-4 at home. Tonight marked the first time the teams had faced each other since the 1990-91 season.
The game also marked the first of just two remaining non-conference games on Sacramento State’s schedule. The Hornets will play their final non-conference tilt of the season on March 1 against Causeway rival UC Davis.
Cal State Bakersfield shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the field while outrebounding Sacramento State, 38-31. The Roadrunners scored 13 second-chance points and limited Sacramento State to just two fast-break points. Conversely, the Hornets shot 40.3 percent (25-62) from the field, and went to the free throw line just six times (converting four of those attempts). Sacramento State did score 16 points off 18 Roadrunner turnovers, but shot 25.0 percent (7-28) from beyond the three-point arc and forced Cal State Bakersfield into just 14 fouls.
The Hornets jumped out of the gates early, taking an eight-point lead (21-13) with 12:02 left in the first half. However, they converted on just 4-of-20 shots from the field over the final 11:30 of the half to allow Bakersfield to take the four-point halftime lead.
Four Roadrunners scored in double figures, comprised of Hall, Donavan Bragg (14), Trent Blakely (14) and Zack Grasmick (12). All 12 of Grasmick’s points came on three-pointers as he went 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Junior Loren Leath led Sacramento State with 20 points and three steals in 34 minutes. Freshman Vinnie McGhee, Jr., added 17 points, six assists and one steal. No other Hornet scored more than seven points as sophomore Justin Eller tallied seven points and a team-best eight rebounds, and senior Justin Williams finished with six points and seven rebounds.
The only Hornet (with more than one field goal attempt) to shoot better than 50.0 percent from the field was McGhee, who finished 6-of-10 from the floor.
Tonight’s game marked the third of Sacramento State’s season-best four-game homestand. The team jumps back into Big Sky Conference play this Saturday, Jan. 19, when it hosts Northern Arizona at 7:05 p.m. The Hornets are 1-4 in the Big Sky, but will play four of their next six conference games at home.
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