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MENâ€™S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF WILLIAM JESSUP, 65-54
Junior Zach Nelson had 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots to help lead the Hornets
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Three Sacramento State players scored in double figures, and the Hornets led the entire way in a 65-54 victory over William Jessup in a non-conference men’s basketball game Friday evening at the Nest.
In the only home game Sacramento State will play during the entire month of December, the Hornets jumped out to a 16-4 lead during the game’s first seven minutes. Five different Hornets scored during the run, including five points from freshman Jackson Carbajal. Sacramento State would eventually push its lead to a game-high 25 points late in the first half before settling for a 38-16 halftime lead.
William Jessup outscored the Hornets in the second half, 38-27, and used a 13-2 run late in the game to cut the lead to seven points (61-54) with 1:06 left in the contest. However, that was the last points the Warriors would score, and senior Sultan Toles-Bey iced the contest with four free throws during the final 55 seconds to provide the final outcome.
The win was much needed for a Sacramento State club that had dropped three straight, and hadn’t won since a 71-67 victory over Cal Poly on Nov. 27. The Hornets improved to 3-6 overall and 3-2 on the home floor. William Jessup dropped its sixth straight game and fell to 2-9 overall. Sacramento State is now 7-0 all-time against the Warriors in a series which dates back to the 2003-04 season.
“This game was definitely the tale of two halves,” Sacramento State head coach Brian Katz said. “We played well in the first half, but obviously struggled in the second. We have eight days before our next game, and will be spending a lot of time on rebounding and executing our offense in late game situations.”
Sacramento State shot 44.0 percent (22-50) from the field while limiting William Jessup to 35.2 percent (19-54) shooting. The Hornets also had 12 fastbreak points and held a 40-33 rebounding advantage. Of Sacramento State’s 22 made buckets, 16 were assisted, including a game-high five assists from Toles-Bey. The senior from Compton finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in a game-high 36 minutes.
Joining Toles-Bey in double figures for the Hornets were junior Zach Nelson (11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks) and Carbajal (11 points, three rebounds). Nelson shot 4-of-6 from the field and Carbajal was 4-of-8 (including a season-high three three-pointers). Sophomore John Dickson added six points and five rebounds, senior Duro Bjegovic had seven points, and freshman Pete Rakocevic tallied eight points and six rebounds in eight active minutes.
The Hornets could have won by a larger margin, but struggled again from the free throw line, converting on just 15-of-26 attempts (.577). Over the last four games, Sacramento State is shooting 51.4 percent (37-72) from the charity stripe.
William Jessup was led by Anthony Anderson’s 13 points and three steals while Damal Neil added 10 points before fouling out with 4:04 remaining in the game. Lucas Domingue and Preston Bramow each added six points and eight rebounds. The pair were the only players to finish with more than three rebounds for the Warriors.
Sacramento State will now embark upon a season-long four-game road trip that will not see the team return home until a Jan. 6 matchup against Montana State. The Hornets will take the next eight days off for Finals Week until beginning the road trip on Sunday, Dec. 19, at McNeese State.
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