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MENâ€™S BASKETBALL FALLS IN OVERTIME AS LATE THREE-POINTER GIVES McNEESE STATE A 65-63 VICTORY
Freshman Jackson Carbajal scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field
LAKE CHARLES, La. -- McNeese State’s Jeremie Mitchell’s three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in overtime proved to be the game’s final points and delivered a 65-63 victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference men’s basketball game Sunday afternoon at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
The Hornets led for nearly the entire game, including a game-high 12-point lead on four different occasions, including three times in the second half. In fact, McNeese State took its first lead of the game at 56-54 with 1:03 remaining in regulation before a John Dickson jumper with 36 seconds left tied the score and eventually forced overtime.
In that overtime session, no team led by more than three points the entire way. After the Cowboys took a 60-57 lead with 3:36 left, a pair of free throws from Zach Nelson and a layup from Sultan Toles-Bey gave the Hornets a one-point lead with 1:39 remaining. After a pair of free throws were converted by McNeese State’s C.J. Collins, true freshman Jackson Carbajal knocked down two freebies to put the Hornets back on top, 63-62, with 18 seconds to play.
Rather than dribbling the clock down to the final seconds, McNeese State found Mitchell in the corner and he knocked down the biggest shot of the game with 10 seconds left, a three-pointer which gave the Cowboys a 65-63 lead. Mitchell had been 1-for-4 from beyond the arc until knocking down what proved to be the game winner. After a Sacramento State timeout, Toles-Bey dribbled the length of the court and found Dickson for a good look at a three-pointer, but the attempt bounced off the rim as time expired.
The loss was the second overtime defeat of the season as Sacramento State (3-7) also fell in overtime at home to Cal State Bakersfield in the season opener. The Hornets were looking for their first road win of the season, but fell to 0-5 outside of Sacramento. The team is in the midst of a season-long four-game road swing and the trip doesn’t get any easier as the Hornets will play at Oklahoma on Tuesday night at 5:05 p.m. PST.
McNeese State (7-4 overall), which lost in overtime at LSU on Thursday night, improved to 7-0 when playing games in Lake Charles. The Cowboys, who usually play their home games at the Burton Coliseum, played today’s game at the Lake Charles Civic Center for the first and only time this season. The Hornets and Cowboys were playing each other for the first time ever.
The Hornets looked to be in control after a jumper from Toles-Bey gave the team a 36-24 lead with 16:33 remaining in the game. However, McNeese State immediately responded with a 12-1 run that spanned 4:15 to jump right back in the game and trail, 37-36, with 12:18 left. Sacramento State pushed its lead back to seven points (54-47) with 6:48 remaining, but the Cowboys used a 6-0 run to close within one point at the 4:11 mark. No team led by more than three points the remainder of regulation or overtime.
Sacramento State shot 45.0 percent (18-40) from the field, 53.3 percent (8-15) from the three-point line and 82.6 percent (19-23) from the free throw line. Conversely, McNeese State shot just 35.7 percent (20-56) from the floor, while converting 5-of-23 from beyond the arc. Sacramento State committed three of its season-worst 23 turnovers in the overtime session, and watched as the Cowboys outscored the Hornets in points off turnovers by a 20-13 margin.
Carbajal led all scorers with a game-best 17 points, including three three-pointers. Fifteen of those points came in the first half as the true freshman played 40 minutes. Toles-Bey added 15 points (6-of-10 shooting) and four rebounds in 44 minutes, and Dickson tallied 11 points and a game-high three steals. Nelson had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds, and has led or tied for the team lead in rebounding in three of the last four games. Junior Heath Hoffman added eight points before fouling out with 1:57 left in regulation, and junior center Josh McCarver grabbed six rebounds in his first start of the season. Junior center Alpha N’Diaye, the team’s probable starter at center, missed his fifth straight game with an ankle injury.
Three players scored in double figures for McNeese State, comprised of Stephan Martin (15 points), Collins (12 points, five rebounds and three assists) and Diego Kapelan (10 points). P.J. Alawoya had six points and eight rebounds, and five of those boards came on the offensive glass. The Cowboys had just five assists on their 20 made buckets.
After Tuesday’s game against Oklahoma, Sacramento State will take seven days off before opening Big Sky Conference play on the road at Eastern Washington on Dec. 29.
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