MENâ€™S BASKETBALL USES BALANCED ATTACK TO DOWN WILLIAM JESSUP, 74-42
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - All 12 Sacramento State players that appeared in tonight’s game scored at least four points, led by senior Justin Eller’s team-high 14, as the Hornets defeated William Jessup, 74-42, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Monday evening at the Nest.
After a three-pointer by Antonio Flaggs gave Sacramento State to a 5-3 lead during the opening minute of the contest, the Hornets led for the final 39:31 of the contest. That included holding a double-digit lead the final 34:31.
Sacramento State, which is playing the second of a three-game homestand, improved its record to 6-7. The team’s six victories are four more than all of last season. The Hornets also improved to 3-2 at home, including Saturday night’s victory over Big Sky Conference foe Idaho State.
William Jessup, which is an NAIA program from Rocklin, Calif., dropped to 3-10 with the loss. Tonight marked the third Div. I team the Warriors have played this season which includes losses to San Jose State (89-63) and Utah Valley (78-58). The Hornets now own a 6-0 all-time record against William Jessup.
Sacramento State shot a season-best 58.8 percent (30-51) from the field, while also shooting 50.0 percent (7-14) from the three-point line and 77.8 percent (7-9) from the free throw stripe. The Hornets scored 38 of their 74 points in the paint, and 38 of their points came from non-starters. Sacramento State outrebounded William Jessup, 42-27, and 20 of the team’s 30 made baskets came off assists.
Conversely, the Warriors were limited to 25.0 percent (15-60) shooting from the floor, including 4-of-25 (.160) from the three-point line. William Jessup had just one player score more than seven points, and was outscored 39-23 in the first half and 35-19 in the second half.
“Entering the game, our two main focuses were to stop their penetration, and get the ball inside, and we did a good job of accomplishing both,” Sacramento State second-year head coach Brian Katz said. “William Jessup is a talented team, but we executed well and I’m happy with our effort.”
The Hornets took control of the game early, using an 8-0 run to take a 19-7 lead with 12:13 remaining in the opening half. Sacramento State would later stretch the lead to 22 points (35-13) with 5:31 left in the first half, and led by at least 14 points the rest of the way.
Eller’s 14 points came on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, while the third-year center also added a game-high eight rebounds in 20 minutes. Senior Domineek Daniel added 10 points and four rebounds, Sultan Toles-Bey had seven points, three assists and three steals and Flaggs added six points, four rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Six different Hornets had at least four rebounds, comprised of Eller, Daniel, Flaggs, Duro Bjegovic (four points, six rebounds), John Dickson (four points, four rebounds) and Jonathan Malloy (four points, five rebounds).
All 12 of Sacramento State’s active players scored at least four points and played at least five minutes, including season highs in points for freshmen Dani Lopez (6) and Brad Johnstin (5). Senior forward Michael Selling, who did not play two days ago against Idaho State while battling the flu, returned tonight to tally four points, two rebounds and a steal in nine minutes.
As a team, Sacramento State had 11 steals, marking the fourth time this year the team has tallied double figures in steals.
The Warriors were led by Kadeem Kirsten’s 14 points while Jason Washington had seven points, and Tevin Hurd added four points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Sacramento State will play its third and final game of the homestand when the team hosts Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Dec. 27 at 1:05 p.m. The Hornets, who are 1-1 in the Big Sky Conference, will then jump back into league play next week for road games at Eastern Washington (Dec. 31) and Portland State (Jan. 2).