FIRST-PLACE PORTLAND STATE TOO MUCH FOR MENâ€™S BASKETBALL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jeremiah Dominguez scored a game-high 20 points, and Scott Morrison added 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Portland State to a 79-56 victory over Sacramento State in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Saturday evening at the Hornets Nest.
Portland State, which sits alone atop the Big Sky standings (one game ahead of second-place Weber State), improved to 15-8 overall and 8-2 in the conference with the victory. The Vikings have won six in a row, and coupled with their victory over the Hornets earlier this year in Portland, swept the season series over Sacramento State for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Sacramento State, which was playing the third game of a three-game homestand, dropped to 4-18 overall and 2-9 in the conference. With five games remaining on the conference schedule, Sacramento State’s chances at the Big Sky Tournament continue to fade as it sits 3.5 games back of the sixth and final spot. The top six teams in the nine-member conference advance to the Big Sky Tournament, a place the Hornets have been four times in the last five years.
Tonight, Portland State never trailed, opening up a lead as large as 36 points in the second half. Sacramento State hung around early, trailing by five points (20-15) with 10:34 remaining in the first half. However, the Vikings immediately went on an 18-6 run to take a 38-21 lead (3:02) and eventually went into halftime with a 40-28 lead after the Hornets closed the half on a 5-0 run.
Portland State took control of the game with a 20-2 run that spanned the first 6:46 of the second half. The Vikings cruised the rest of the way as the 23-point margin of defeat was as close as Sacramento State would get the rest of the evening.
“Portland State really frustrated us tonight and we couldn’t get anything going,” Sacramento State head coach Jerome Jenkins said. “I give our guys credit because they are staying positive, and we’ll go on the road next week and try to get a win. We’re not giving up on the season.”
The Vikings scored 45 of their 79 points in the paint and held a 50-29 rebounding advantage against the undersized Hornets. Portland State finished the game shooting 48.4 percent (30-62) from the field while limiting the Hornets to 34.4 percent (22-64) shooting from the field. The Vikings also had 13 second-chance points. Sacramento State did score 19 points off 18 Portland State turnovers. Four different Portland State players had at least six rebounds while the Hornets’ leading rebounder (Darnell Ferguson) had six boards.
Joining Dominguez and Morrison in double figures for the Vikings was Deonte Huff (14 points, six rebounds and four assists). Andre Murray added eight points and five rebounds.
Sacramento State was led by Jason Davis’ 12 points as the senior forward shot 4-of-4 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. He also added five rebounds and two steals. No other Hornet scored in double figures. Sophomore Alonzo Young added eight points (4-of-6 shooting) and two steals in 15 minutes, junior Loren Leath had eight points and two assists, and Ferguson chipped in five points and six rebounds.
The Hornets have just two home games remaining on the schedule and they will spend the next two weeks on the road. The team begins a three-game road trip next week with stops at Montana (Thursday, Feb. 14, 6:05 p.m. PST) and Montana State (Sunday, Feb. 17, 1:05 p.m. PST). Sunday’s game against Montana State will be broadcast locally on Comcast SportsNet West.