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IDAHO'S THREE-POINT BARRAGE HELPS DEFEAT MEN'S BASKETBALL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Idaho made 9-of-16 three-pointers, including threes on five consecutive possessions midway through the first half, to go on and defeat Sacramento State, 72-58, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Monday evening at the Hornets Nest.
With the scored tied, 11-11, at the 10:43 mark of the first half, Idaho buried three-pointers on five straight possessions to spark what eventually would become a 22-4 Vandal run. That run culminated in a 31-15 lead with 5:44 to play in the first half. Eighteen of the 22 points during the run came from beyond the three-point line, including three treys from Trevor Morris, two from Mac Hopson and one more from Luciano de Souza. A three-pointer at the halftime buzzer by Antonio Flaggs eventually drew Sacramento State within 11 points (39-28) of Idaho’s lead, but that was as close as the Hornets would get the rest of the night.
With the loss, Sacramento State, which was playing its home opener, dropped to 0-5 for the first time since the 1998-99 season. In addition, the team had its run of nine consecutive home-opening victories snapped.
Idaho, which was coming off a 54-point win over UC Irvine last Friday, improved to 4-3 overall this season. The Vandals have now defeated the Hornets on 10 consecutive occasions and own an 11-1 lead in the all-time series.
“Idaho had trouble scoring early in the game, but they knocked down a series of three-pointers midway through the first half, and that affected us the rest of the night,” Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. “Those three-pointers deflated us a bit, and we became tentative defensively.”
Idaho finished the game shooting 56.9 percent (29-51) from the field and 56.3 percent (9-16) from beyond the three-point arc, while also adding 36 points in the paint. In fact, the Vandals scored 63 of their 72 points from either inside the paint or behind the three-point line.
Idaho had three players score in double figures, comprised of Brandon Wiley (19), Hopson (15 points, nine assists, two steals) and Morris (15 points, 5-of-6 from beyond the three-point line). Eight of the team’s nine three-pointers came from the hands of Hopson (3-of-6 from the three-point line) and Morris.
Sacramento State’s largest lead of the night came at 9-6 with 12:22 remaining in the first half, but after Idaho reclaimed the lead at 14-11, the Vandals led for the final 30:15 of the contest. Sacramento State shot 38.5 percent (20-52) from the field, 36.8 percent (7-19) from the three-point line and 73.3 percent (11-15) from the charity stripe. The Hornets were able to score 19 points off 16 Idaho turnovers, but could not overcome the torrid Vandal shooting.
Sacramento State was led by junior Antonio Flaggs’ team-best 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior Loren Leath added 14 points (3-of-8 from the three-point line) and junior Justin Eller had 10 points and six rebounds to round out the three Hornets in double-figure scoring. Junior point guard Mike Marcial finished with a season-best seven assists with no turnovers.
With a roster of 12 new players, Katz is still experimenting with starting lineups, and has now used a different starting five in every game this season. In fact, 11 of the Hornets’ 12 healthy players have now started at least one game this year.
Sacramento State will play its second home game in three days when the team returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 3, to face Causeway rival UC Davis at 7:35 p.m. The game is the back end of a doubleheader that features the Hornet women taking on UC Irvine at 5:05 p.m. Sacramento State owns a 61-44 all-time record against the Aggies, including victories in two of the last meetings between the teams.
On Saturday, the Hornets will play their third game in six days when the team travels to Santa Clara for a 7:05 p.m. tipoff.
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