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BACK AND FORTH GAME GOES CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD'S WAY IN VICTORY OVER MEN'S BASKETBALL
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Cal State Bakersfield outscored Sacramento State, 14-3, over the final 4:22 of regulation to go on and defeat the Hornets, 72-62, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Tuesday evening at the Rabobank Arena.
After a pair of free throws from Antonio Flaggs gave Sacramento State a 59-58 lead with 4:32 remaining, the Hornets converted on just one of their final eight field goal attempts while committing two turnovers over that span to let Cal State Bakersfield reclaim the lead and eventually win the game. Conversely, the Roadrunners converted on three of their final four field goal attempts while going 7-of-8 from the free throw line during the final 4:22 of the contest.
In a game that featured 14 lead changes and eight ties, no team held a lead larger than seven points nearly the entire way, until four free throws for Cal State Bakersfield during the final 14 seconds helped provide the 10-point margin of victory. Trailing by four points (66-62) with less than a minute to play, Hornet guard Stephen Calton’s jumper bounced around and hung on the rim for a second before falling out with 43 seconds to play. The Roadrunners grabbed the rebound, the Hornets were forced to foul, and Cal State Bakersfield was able to convert on its final six free throw attempts to put the game away.
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped to 0-4 as each of the team’s first four games have been on the road. The Hornets dropped to 4-17 all-time against the Roadrunners, including a 1-10 mark in Bakersfield. Sacramento State will finally play its home opener next week when the team hosts Idaho on Monday, Dec. 1, and UC Davis on Wednesday, Dec. 3.
Cal State Bakersfield, which just defeated Big West Conference preseason favorite Cal State Northridge last Friday, improved to 2-2 overall and 2-0 at home.
Sacramento State, which held its largest lead of the game at seven points (53-46 with 8:06 remaining), shot 44.9 percent (22-49) from the field, 27.3 percent (3-11) from the three-point stripe and 88.2 percent (15-17) from the free throw line. The Hornets scored 28 of their 62 points in the paint, as junior center Justin Eller led the way with game highs in both points (20) and rebounds (11). Eller, who shot 7-of-14 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line, became the first Sacramento State player to record a double-double since Angel Alamo accomplished the feat against Northern Colorado on Jan. 31, 2007.
Eller scored 10 more points than any other Sacramento State player as senior Loren Leath finished with 10, senior Randy Adams had a career-high nine points to go along with six rebounds, and junior Antonio Flaggs finished with seven points. Adams, who finished the game 4-for-4 from the field including a two-hand rip to close the first half, also had a steal and a blocked shot. Flaggs knocked down another three-pointer and is now shooting 71.4 percent (5-7) from beyond the arc this season.
Cal State Bakersfield had four players finish in double figures, comprised of Santwon Latunde (17), Trent Blakley (14), Terrence Johns (12) and Donavan Bragg (10). Latunde also had a team-best eight rebounds as Cal State Bakersfield held a narrow 28-27 advantage on the boards. The Roadrunners shot 51.1 percent (24-47) from the field, 41.7 percent from the three-point line (5-12) and 76.0 percent (19-25) from the free throw line. Cal State Bakersfield, which held a 32-28 halftime lead, converted on two more three-pointers and four more free throws than the Hornets to provide the final margin of victory.
After missing the first three games with a leg injury, Calton finished with four points (2-for-4 from the field), two assists and a rebound in 19 minutes for the Hornets. Sacramento State is still without forwards Michael Selling, Aj Kapanoske and Alex Ward due to injuries. All 12 healthy Sacramento State players appeared in the game, including center Mike Edwards, who finished with five points, three rebounds, a blocked shot and two steals.
Sacramento State’s game against Idaho on Monday will tip off at 7:05 p.m., as the Hornets will look to win their home opener for the 10th consecutive season. The Hornets will also play Causeway rival UC Davis on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7:35 p.m. That game is part of a doubleheader as the Sacramento State women’s team will play at 5:05 p.m.
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