MENâ€™S BASKETBALL SUFFERS FOURTH OVERTIME LOSS OF THE SEASON, THIS TIME AT IDAHO STATE
Senior Duro Bjegovic finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds in 39 minutes
POCATELLO, Idaho -- Sacramento State failed to convert a field goal in overtime and was outscored in the extra session, 8-3, on the way to a 68-63 loss at Idaho State in a Big Sky Conference men’s basketball game Friday afternoon at Holt Arena.
The year full of heartbreaking losses continued for a Hornet club which has now suffered a program single-season record four overtime losses. Three of those overtime losses have come in the last four games, including two nights ago in the team’s conference opener at Eastern Washington. Sacramento State, which could just as easily be 2-0 in Big Sky play for the second time ever, is now 0-2 in the league and 3-10 overall. Of the Hornets’ 10 losses this year, four have come in overtime and another was lost by four points in regulation.
Sacramento State found itself down 10 points early in the second half before storming back to eventually take a five-point lead (57-52) with 4:07 remaining. A John Dickson dunk emphatically capped a 10-0 run which spanned nearly six minutes of the second half to give Sacramento State its game-high five-point lead. However, the Bengals scored the game’s next eight points to take a brief three-point lead (60-57), but Hornet junior swingman Heath Hoffman answered with a three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining to tie the score.
Sultan Toles-Bey then stole the ball from Broderick Gilchrest on ISU’s next possession and the Hornets had the ball and a tie score with 10 seconds to play. That was the same situation the team was in two days ago against Eastern Washington, and the Hornets again looked to Toles-Bey in the final possession. Toles-Bey drove hard to the basket and pulled up for a contested 15-footer at the elbow that barely touched front iron, and the Hornets were staring at overtime again.
The extra session belonged to Idaho State as the Bengals scored the first four points and never led by less than three points the rest of the way. The Hornets cut the lead to three points on three occasions, but ISU responded by knocking down free throws on its next possession each time to keep it at a two-possession game. Gilchrest knocked down a pair of freebies to increase the lead to five points at 1:07, and Chase Grabau did the same to put the game away with 11 seconds left.
During the overtime session, Sacramento State went 0-for-6 from the field, 0-for-3 from the three-point line, 3-for-5 from the free throw line and committed a turnover. Idaho State didn’t fare much better, but the Bengals made six of their 12 free throws during the extra session. Overtime struggles are becoming all too common of a site for a Sacramento State team that has now combined to shoot 1-for-15 from the field and 15-for-23 from the free throw line while committing 10 turnovers during 20 minutes of overtime periods this year.
Today ended a season-long four-game road trip for Sacramento State. Moreover, the team has played seven of its last eight games on the road and played just one home game during the entire month of December. The Hornets will finally get some home cooking next week when they mercifully return to the friendly confines of the Nest for games against Montana (Thursday, Jan. 6, 7:05 p.m.) and Montana State (Saturday, Jan. 8, 7:05 p.m.).
The Hornets had won the last two meetings with Idaho State after sweeping the season series last year. Idaho State, which broke out a brand new floor for tonight’s game, was playing its Big Sky opener and improved to 5-8 overall and 4-0 at home.
Although the rebounds were even in today’s game at 39 apiece, Idaho State scored 21 second chance points off 19 offensive rebounds. Both teams put up similar numbers from the field (SAC .389, ISU .400), the three-point line (SAC .192, ISU .182) and the free throw line (SAC 16 makes, .696; ISU 18 makes, .600). In addition to scoring nine more second-chance points than the Hornets, Idaho State also outscored Sacramento State, 14-9, in points off turnovers.
The loss overshadowed Hornet senior Duro Bjegovic’s second career double-double against Idaho State. The Croatian native had 11 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and two steals in 39 minutes. The 15 rebounds tied for the sixth best mark in Sacramento State Div. I single-game history (1991-pres.), while his 14 defensive rebounds tied for the second highest mark.
Joining Bjegovic in double figures for the Hornets were Dickson (15 points, six rebounds and a career-high tying four blocked shots) and junior Walter Jackson (10 points, five rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes). Toles-Bey played all 45 minutes of the game, finishing with nine points. Freshman Jackson Carbajal added eight points and four rebounds, and Hoffman had six points. Junior Zach Nelson finished with four points and two rebounds, rounding out the seven Sacramento State players to score during the game.
Four Bengals scored in double figures, comprised of Deividas Busma (19 points, 12 rebounds, five offensive boards), Grabau (12 points, six rebounds), Gilchrest (11 points and a game-high four steals) and Abner Moreira (11 points and seven rebounds).
Beginning with next week’s games against Montana and Montana State, Sacramento State will play five of the next seven contests at home.