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MENâ€™S BASKETBALL DROPS HEARTBREAKER TO CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD IN SEASON OPENER
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State let a five-point lead with 13 seconds remaining slip away as Cal State Bakersfield defeated the Hornets in overtime by an 80-78 score in a non-conference men’s basketball game Sunday afternoon at the Nest. The game marked the season opener for the Hornets.
Sacramento State, which lef the majority of regulation, took a five-point (72-67) lead after Antoine Proctor split a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining. However, CSUB’s Alex Johnson raced up the floor and pulled up for a 28-footer that shaved the lead to two points (72-70) with eight seconds. The Roadrunners immediately fouled freshman Jackson Carbajal on the inbounds pass, but Carbajal split the free throws with seven seconds remaining and left the door open for Cal State Bakersfield.
With time winding down, the Roadrunners again fed the ball to Johnson, who was fouled by John Dickson while shooting a three-pointer with three seconds left. Johnson calmly knocked down all three free throws to tie the game, and the Hornets’ desperation heave at the buzzer fell short.
Neither team led by more than a point during the first 4:39 of the overtime session before Johnson struck again with a three ball to put CSUB up, 79-77, with 20 seconds left. Sacramento State then called a timeout and set up a play for Duro Bjegovic, who looked to have a wide-open layup attempt before Donald Johnson swooped in for the block. The Roadrunners grabbed the rebound and Robert Hayes split a pair of free throws to put the Roadrunners up, 80-77, with seven seconds left.
Sacramento State got the ball to Proctor, but he was fouled with four seconds left as he raced up the floor. After making the first free throw, he intentionally missed the second and a mad scramble ensued for the rebound. Proctor came up with the ball, but his contested, desperation shot at the buzzer fell well off the mark as time expired.
The Hornets could have easily put this game away had they executed from the free throw line, but the team missed four freebies during the final 22 seconds. The team also had turnovers on back-to-back possessions at 1:11 and 0:49 of the second half. In fact, the 80-77 lead with seven seconds left in overtime was the Roadrunners’ largest of the night. Sacramento State took a game-high 14-point lead (24-10) with 6:34 remaining in the first half, but Cal State Bakersfield answered with a 21-7 run to tie the score at halftime, 31-31
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped to 0-1 while Cal State Bakersfield improved to 1-1. The Roadrunners opened the season on Friday night with an 82-77 loss at Santa Clara.
The Hornets had five players score in double figures, comprised of junior Alpha N'Diaye (16 points, eight rebounds, two steals), Dickson (15 points), senior Sultan Toles-Bey (14 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Proctor (14 points, five rebounds, game-high three steals) and Bjegovic (12 points, five rebounds). N’Diaye shot 6-of-9 from the field, including five dunks, before fouling out with 4:29 left in overtime.
Both teams didn’t shoot particularly well from the field (.397 for the Hornets, .388 for the Roadrunners), but Cal State Bakersfield made 10 three-pointers in 26 attempts (.385) compared to just three three-pointers in 16 attempts (.188) for Sacramento State. The Roadrunners also held a decisive edge in the rebounding department (49-41), and converted 18 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points. The Hornets went 29-of-42 (.690) from the free throw line, but 2-for-6 during the final 22 seconds.
Johnson finished with a game-high 22 points as he went 6-of-12 from field (all six makes were three-pointers) and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Stephon Carter scored 19 points, and Rashad Savage added nine points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Sacramento State, which plays four of the first five games on its home floor, returns to action on Tuesday night (Nov. 16) when the team welcomes Bethany for a 7:05 p.m. matchup.
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