Links associated with this release:
WEBER STATE USES LATE RUN TO SLIP PAST MENâ€™S BASKETBALL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Weber State used an 8-0 run late in the second half to break a 50-50 tie, and eventually defeat Sacramento State, 67-59, in a tightly contested Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Thursday evening at the Hornets Nest.
In a game which featured 11 lead changes and 11 ties, no team led by more than eight points the entire way. A pair of free throws from Loren Leath tied the score at 50-50 with 4:30 remaining in the contest. However, Weber State immediately went on an 8-0 run over the next 1:44 to take control of the game. During the spurt, the Wildcats shot 3-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line, and took advantage of two Hornet miscues. Kyle Bullinger scored four of his team-high 18 points during the run, including a fast-break dunk off a Hornet turnover to give the Wildcats a 58-50 lead with 2:46 remaining.
Sacramento State tried to fight back as a three-pointer from Leath eventually drew the Hornets within five points (64-59) with 34 seconds to play, but that was as close as the team would get the rest of the game. Weber State went 7-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 56 seconds to help ice the game.
One big factor that led to the Hornets’ loss was Weber State’s 35-25 rebounding advantage that led to 15 second-chance points compared to just four for Sacramento State. Usually a good free throw shooting team, the Hornets also shot just 60.9 percent (14-23) from the charity stripe.
With the loss, Sacramento State saw its record drop to 1-19 overall and 0-7 in the Big Sky. The Hornets were playing the second of a season-long four-game homestand, and are in the midst of a stretch that will see the team play six of eight games inside the friendly confines.
Weber State improved to 11-8 overall and 5-1 in the conference. The Wildcats are now tied for first in the Big Sky standings with Portland State, and won their third consecutive road game. In addition, WSU improved to 26-4 all-time against Sacramento State, and has won seven of the last nine meetings between the two teams.
“I thought we showed progress tonight, and played pretty well against a very good team,” Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. “I know Weber State went on its run towards the end of the game, but I felt like we missed a big opportunity in the first half. We committed a series of unforced turnovers (10 total in the half), and could have opened up a nice halftime lead instead of going into the break with a tie score (25-25).”
No team led by more than five points the first 36:58 of the contest until Weber State went on its 8-0 run. Bullinger (18 points, team-high seven rebounds) and Kellen McCoy (15 points) combined for 33 of the Wildcats’ 67 points as no other WSU player scored more than eight. Sacramento State limited Steve Panos, Weber State’s second-leading scorer, to just three points and three turnovers.
Weber State finished the game shooting 46.8 percent (22-47) from the field, 30.0 percent (6-20) from the three-point line and 68.0 percent (17-25) from the free throw stripe. The Wildcats committed 17 turnovers (including 11 in the first half), but forced the Hornets into 15 miscues.
For Sacramento State, Leath had a game-high 19 points, including 16 in the second half. He was joined in double figures by senior Randy Adams (career-high tying 12 points) and junior Antonio Flaggs (11 points, three assists and a career-high three steals). Junior Jared Stigall added nine points, four assists and no turnovers, as the quartet of Leath, Adams, Flaggs and Stigall combined for 51 of the Hornets’ 59 points.
Junior Justin Eller, who is tied for the conference lead in rebounding, added a game-high nine rebounds. Junior Michael Selling received his first start of the season and finished with two rebounds, one block and one steal in 10 minutes. The Hornets received just eight points from their bench.
The Hornets finished the game shooting 42.6 percent (20-47) from the field and 35.7 percent (5-14) from the three-point line. Sacramento State has now converted at least one three-pointer in 424 consecutive games, a streak which dates back to 1993.
Sacramento State resumes its homestand on Saturday, Jan. 24, when the team welcomes Idaho State to the Nest for a 7:05 p.m. tip. Earlier in the day, the program will hosts its inaugural Alumni Day, as three games will be played beginning at noon. Players from the 1950’s will take on players from the 1960’s in a shooting contest at noon, players from the 1970’s will take on the 1980’s at 1 p.m., and members of the 1990’s squads will take on players from the 2000’s at 2 p.m. The festivities will take place inside the Hornets Nest, and all spectators will be admitted free.
<< Return to Men's Basketball schedule